A number of nuclear power installations located in the north-western Mediterranean (NWM) area are known to enhance Cs-137 levels in various marine compartments. The nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Marcoule (France) has been reported to originate a significant increase of Cs-137 in Rhone river waters and sediments because of the discharge of low-level liquid radioactive waste. This radionuclide may be used as a tracer of oceanographic processes in the NWM; in fact, Cs-137 Of Rhone river origin has been detected in the Gulf of Lions by several authors. The results reported in this work correspond to various transect experiments in waters of the Catalan Sea and show that: (i) surface salinity measurements confirmed the presence of the Catalan current in the Cap de Creus area; (ii) the 1991 Cap de Creus transect showed clearly the presence of Cs-137 above a baseline level of 4.3 +/- 0.2 Bq . m(-3);(iii) the 1991 Cap de Salou transect showed elevated levels towards the coast; (iv) the 1992 Cap de Creus transect showed no iv structure at all. Therefore, it was concluded that traces of Cs-137 from the Marcoule nuclear fuel reprocessing plant were transported by the Catalan current and were detectable in the Catalan Sea with a complex spatio-temporal structure.
How to cite this document:Sanchezcabeza Ja, Molero J, Merino J, Pujol L, Mitchell Pi (1995). Cs-137 as a tracer of the catalan current. Oceanologica Acta, 18(2), 221-226. Open Access version : http://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00096/20773/