Anthropogenic 129I in seawaters along the north-central part of the English Channel: Levels and tracer applications

Peng He, Zheng Yang, Hongying Pang, Ala Aldahan, Xiaolin Hou, Göran Possnert, Xiangjun Pei, Yi Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The English Channel (the Channel) represents a major sink and transport pathway of anthropogenic radioactive 129I. Despite this important role, data concerning the distribution of 129I in seawater of the Channel are scarce, and most of existing data are restricted to the eastern part of the Channel. The advection and dispersion of 129I from the French coast toward the central and further the English coast, especially in the Channel west of Cap de La Hague, are not fully investigated. We present results of iodine isotopes (127I and 129I) analyses of surface water samples collected along the central English Channel in October, 2010. The data show high 129I concentrations between Dover Strait and La Hague, followed by a dramatic drop towards the Celtic Sea and reveal the dispersal of 129I towards central and northern part of the Channel. Our observation also implies that the entire British coast is contaminated by 129I. 129I levels in the westernmost English Channel, close to the English coast, may reflect combined influences from La Hague and Sellafield. Evolution of 129I between 2005 and 2010 suggests a strong link to temporal marine discharges from La Hague plant. The discharges from the nuclear reprocessing facility have continued since 2010 and thus an ecological evaluation of 129I radioactive hazards in the environment of the Channel may be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalActa Oceanologica Sinica
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • English Channel
  • I
  • iodine isotopes
  • seawater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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