Ruthenium-106 in the Black Sea

  • K. O. Buesseler
  • H. D. Livingston
  • S. A. Casso
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 351)


Profiles of Chernobyl 106Ru and137 Cs were obtained at margin and interior sites in the Black Sea between 1986 and 1988. The data show a vertical separation in the activity distributions of these two tracers. Ruthenium-106 is found at depths below the Chernobyl 137Cs, indicating that 106Ru is removed via particle scavenging processes, unlike the Cs isotopes which serve primarily as tracers of physical mixing. In 1988, more detailed measurements at depths near the oxic/anoxic interface suggest that a subsurface maximum in 106Ru occurs at the same depth as the paniculate Mn maximum above oxygen zero, with perhaps a secondary peak below. Inventory calculations indicate that while 106Ru has been significantly scavenged from the upper 50m, the net loss of 106Ru from the upper 200m has been relatively small since its input in 1986. This implies that substantial 106RU is remineralized from sinking particles, and returns to the dissolved pool, thus limiting net export and increasing the apparent residence time of Ru. Relatively high deep water 106Ru inventories (50% of total) suggest that a substantial fraction of the 106Ru transient tracer reaches the deep waters as a pulse shortly after delivery. This is analogous to what has been seen for the weapons testing fallout radionuclide, 239,240Pu.


Sediment Trap Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Subsurface Maximum Interior Site Chernobyl Fallout 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. O. Buesseler
    • 1
  • H. D. Livingston
    • 1
  • S. A. Casso
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemistry DepartmentWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

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