Dissolved Radiotracers and Numerical Modeling in North European Continental Shelf Dispersion Studies (1982–2016): Databases, Methods and Applications

Type Article
Date 2020-06
Language English
Author(s) Bailly Du Bois Pascal1, Dumas Franck2, Voiseux Claire1, Morillon Mehdi1, Oms Pierre-Emmanuel3, Solier Luc1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire de Radioécologie de Cherbourg, IRSN-LRC, rue Max Pol Fouchet B.P. 10, 50130 Cherbourg en Cotentin, France
2 : Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine-SHOM, 29200 Brest, France
3 : Centre d’Etudes et de Valorisation des Algues CEVA, 83 Presqu’île de Pen Lan, 22610 Pleubian, France
Source Water (2073-4441) (MDPI AG), 2020-06 , Vol. 12 , N. 6 , P. 1667 (38p.)
DOI 10.3390/w12061667
WOS© Times Cited 8
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Tracer and Timescale Methods for Passive and Reactive Transport in Fluid Flows
Keyword(s) radionuclide, tracer, data collection, antimony 125 (Sb-125), tritium (H-3), dispersion, modeling, English Channel, North Sea, Biscay Bay

Significant amounts of anthropogenic radionuclides were introduced in ocean waters following nuclear atmospheric tests and development of the nuclear industry. Dispersion of artificial dissolved radionuclides has been extensively measured for decades over the North-European continental shelf. In this area, the radionuclide measurement and release fluxes databases provided here between 1982 and 2016 represent an exceptional opportunity to validate dispersion hydrodynamic models. This work gives accessibility to these data in a comprehensive database. The MARS hydrodynamic model has been applied at different scales to reproduce the measured dispersion in realistic conditions. Specific methods have been developed to obtain qualitative and quantitative results and perform model/measurement comparisons. Model validation concerns short to large scales with dedicated surveys following the dispersion: it was performed within a two- and three-dimensional framework and from minutes and hours following a release up to several years. Results are presented concerning the dispersion of radionuclides in marine systems deduced from standalone measurements, or according to model comparisons. It allows characterizing dispersion over the continental shelf, pathways, transit times, budgets and source terms. This review presents the main approaches developed and types of information derived from studies of artificial radiotracers using observations, hydrodynamic models or a combination of the two, based primarily on the new featured datasets.

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Bailly Du Bois Pascal, Dumas Franck, Voiseux Claire, Morillon Mehdi, Oms Pierre-Emmanuel, Solier Luc (2020). Dissolved Radiotracers and Numerical Modeling in North European Continental Shelf Dispersion Studies (1982–2016): Databases, Methods and Applications. Water, 12(6), 1667 (38p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061667 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00633/74521/