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ArticleInvestigating subsurface pathways of Fukushima cesium in the Northwest Pacific(American Geophysical Union, 2019-06-18) Cedarholm, Ella R. ; Rypina, Irina I. ; Macdonald, Alison M. ; Yoshida, SachikoAdvective pathways for Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP)‐derived cesium observed in 2013 at 166°E south of the Kuroshio Extension (KE) at >500 m on the 26.5σθ isopycnal are investigated. Attention is paid to the KE's role in shaping these pathways. Using a high‐resolution model, particle trajectories were simulated backward and forward in time on 26.5σθ between the 2013 observations and the 2011 source. A large fraction of backtracked trajectories interacted with the mixed layer just offshore of the FDNPP. The likeliest pathway reaching the deepest 2013 observed cesium location runs along the KE out to ~165°E, where it turns sharply southward. Forward trajectory statistics suggest that for 26.5σθ waters originating north of the KE, this current acted as a permeable barrier west of 155–160°E. The deepest 2011 model mixed layers suggest that FDNPP‐derived radionuclides may have been present at 30°N in 2013 at greater depths and densities (700 m; 26.8σθ).
ArticleObserved eastward progression of the Fukushima 134Cs signal across the North Pacific(John Wiley & Sons, 2015-09-09) Yoshida, Sachiko ; Macdonald, Alison M. ; Jayne, Steven R. ; Rypina, Irina I. ; Buesseler, Ken O.Radionuclide samples taken as part of hydrographic surveys at 30°N in the North Pacific reveal that the easternmost edge of Fukushima-derived 134Cs observed at 174.3°W in 2012 had progressed eastward across the basin to 160.6°W by 2013. The 2013 30°N observations indicate surface 134Cs concentrations of 3–5 Bq/m3 between 160°E and 160°W, slightly lower concentrations west of 160°E and no detectable signal east of 160.6°W. Profile samples show 134Cs penetration to 500 m west of 180° with shoaling penetration depth toward to the east. The near-uniform vertical distribution of 137Cs between 152°W and 121.3°W in the top 500 m is indicative of trace amounts of radionuclides remaining from weapons testing. The physical processes responsible for the deep 134Cs penetration in the western Pacific appear to be related to distinct water mass subduction pathways; however, the timing and rapidity of deep penetration over the broad scales observed has yet to be clarified.