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The Role of Sea Ice in the Fate of Contaminants in the Arctic Ocean:  Plutonium Atom Ratios in the Fram Strait

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Marine Sciences Research Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-5000, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, University of Bremen, Postfach 330440, D-28334 Bremen, Germany, and GEOMAR, Research Center for Marine Geosciences, Wischhofstrasse 1-3, D-24148 Kiel, Germany
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2003, 37, 21, 4848–4854
Publication Date (Web):October 8, 2003
Copyright © 2003 American Chemical Society

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    Atom ratios of 240Pu to 239Pu in bottom sediments from the Fram Strait are used to provide evidence for the long distance dispersion of Pu in the Arctic Ocean. In particular, low (<0.18) 240Pu/239Pu ratios indicate that plutonium from sources in the Kara Sea and Novaya Zemlya is transported across the basin toward the North Atlantic. The results have implications for the ability of sea ice to incorporate, intercept, and transport contaminants in the Arctic Ocean. They demonstrate that the fates of sea ice and associated contaminants in the Arctic Ocean are closely coupled, with the release of the particulate load and associated chemical species occurring in principal sea ice ablation areas such as the Fram Strait.

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     Corresponding author phone:  34-935814218; fax:  34-935813331; e-mail:  [email protected].

     Present address:  Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain.

     Stony Brook University.

     University of Bremen.

     Present address:  Office for Science and Project Management, Britzweg 71, D-24111 Kiel, Germany.


     GEOMAR, Research Center for Marine Geosciences.


     Present address:  Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Stilleweg 2, D-30655 Hannover, Germany.

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