Water masses and 129I distribution in the Nordic Seas

Vasily Alfimov, Ala Aldahan, Göran Possnert

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The application of the radioactive isotope iodine-129 as a tracer of water circulation in the oceans has provided interesting information with respect to sources and mixing of different water masses. We here present results of 129I distribution in water profiles located in the Nordic Seas and use the isotope to fingerprint water masses in the region. The samples were collected by the US research vessel Knorr in May-June 2002. 129I signatures along the Norwegian Sea reflect a mixing of 129I-rich surface water along the Scandinavian continental slope and 129I-poor North Atlantic surface water. These two water masses become less segregated along the Fram Strait where apparent 129I enrichment penetrates the return Arctic flow into the East Greenland Current. The 129I data further suggest existence of a water mass that is not entirely labeled with respect to origin at the Denmark Strait bottom water. This water parcel probably originates from the Iceland Sea. 129I data also shed light on the major deep water outflow from the Nordic Seas located at the Faeroe Bank Channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-546
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • AMS
  • I
  • Nordic Seas
  • Ocean circulation
  • Radionuclides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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