Smith John N.

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John N.

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  • Article
    Time series measurements of transient tracers and tracer-derived transport in the Deep Western Boundary Current between the Labrador Sea and the subtropical Atlantic Ocean at Line W
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-11-10) Smith, John N. ; Smethie, William M. ; Yashayaev, Igor ; Curry, Ruth G. ; Azetsu-Scott, Kumiko
    Time series measurements of the nuclear fuel reprocessing tracer 129I and the gas ventilation tracer CFC-11 were undertaken on the AR7W section in the Labrador Sea (1997–2014) and on Line W (2004–2014), located over the US continental slope off Cape Cod, to determine advection and mixing time scales for the transport of Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW) within the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC). Tracer measurements were also conducted in 2010 over the continental rise southeast of Bermuda to intercept the equatorward flow of DSOW by interior pathways. The Labrador Sea tracer and hydrographic time series data were used as input functions in a boundary current model that employs transit time distributions to simulate the effects of mixing and advection on downstream tracer distributions. Model simulations of tracer levels in the boundary current core and adjacent interior (shoulder) region with which mixing occurs were compared with the Line W time series measurements to determine boundary current model parameters. These results indicate that DSOW is transported from the Labrador Sea to Line W via the DWBC on a time scale of 5–6 years corresponding to a mean flow velocity of 2.7 cm/s while mixing between the core and interior regions occurs with a time constant of 2.6 years. A tracer section over the southern flank of the Bermuda rise indicates that the flow of DSOW that separated from the DWBC had undergone transport through interior pathways on a time scale of 9 years with a mixing time constant of 4 years.
  • Article
    Fukushima Daiichi–derived radionuclides in the ocean : transport, fate, and impacts
    (Annual Reviews, 2016-06-30) Buesseler, Ken O. ; Dai, Minhan ; Aoyama, Michio ; Benitez-Nelson, Claudia R. ; Charmasson, Sabine ; Higley, Kathryn ; Maderich, Vladimir ; Masqué, Pere ; Morris, Paul J. ; Oughton, Deborah ; Smith, John N.
    The events that followed the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, included the loss of power and overheating at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants, which led to extensive releases of radioactive gases, volatiles, and liquids, particularly to the coastal ocean. The fate of these radionuclides depends in large part on their oceanic geochemistry, physical processes, and biological uptake. Whereas radioactivity on land can be resampled and its distribution mapped, releases to the marine environment are harder to characterize owing to variability in ocean currents and the general challenges of sampling at sea. Five years later, it is appropriate to review what happened in terms of the sources, transport, and fate of these radionuclides in the ocean. In addition to the oceanic behavior of these contaminants, this review considers the potential health effects and societal impacts.