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Iodine-129 in Snow and Seawater in the Antarctic: Level and Source
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2015 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 49, no 11, 6691-6700 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Anthropogenic I-129 has been released to the environment in different ways and chemical species by human nuclear activities since the 1940s. These sources provide ideal tools to trace the dispersion of volatile pollutants in the atmosphere. Snow and seawater samples collected in Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and Ross Seas in Antarctica in 2011 were analyzed for I-129 and I-127, including organic forms; it was observed that I-129/I-127 atomic ratios in the Antarctic surface seawater ((6.1-13) x 10(-12)) are about 2 orders of magnitude lower than those in the Antarctic snow ((6.8-9.5) x 10(-1)0), but 4-6 times higher than the prenuclear level (1.5 x 10(-12)), indicating a predominantly anthropogenic source of I-129 in the Antarctic environment. The I-129 level in snow in Antarctica is 24 orders of magnitude lower than that in the Northern Hemisphere, but is not significantly higher than that observed in other sites in the Southern Hemisphere. This feature indicates that I-129 in Antarctic snow mainly originates from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing from 1945 to 1980; resuspension and re-emission of the fallout I-129 in the Southern Hemisphere maintains the I-129 level in the Antarctic atmosphere. I-129 directly released to the atmosphere and re-emitted marine discharged I-129 from reprocessing plants in Europe might not significantly disperse to Antarctica.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 49, no 11, 6691-6700 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
SWEDARP 2010/11, Oden Southern Ocean 2010/11
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-2172DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01234ISI: 000355779100041PubMedID: 25944707OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-2172DiVA: diva2:854276
Available from: 2015-09-16 Created: 2015-09-16 Last updated: 2016-11-11

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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