The distribution of 226Ra in the Atlantic Ocean

W. S. Broecker, J. Goddard, J. L. Sarmiento

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Based on results obtained during the GEOSECS program the primary features of the distribution of 226Ra in the Atlantic Ocean can be defined. Outside the Antarctic no significant variation has been found in the 226Ra content of surface waters. Eighty samples yield an average of 7.4 dpm/100 kg (normalized to a salinity of 35.00‰). Deep waters in the central Atlantic have 226Ra contents several dpm/100 kg higher than expected from the mixing of Antarctic Bottom Water (21.3 dpm/100 kg) and basal North Atlantic Deep Water (10.3 dpm/100 kg). These excesses correlate well with deficiencies in O2 and excesses in SiO2. The intermediate water 226Ra maximum in the South Atlantic is associated with the inflow of low-oxygen Circumpolar Intermediate Water beneath the Antarctic Intermediate Water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-235
Number of pages16
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1976

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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