Accession Number : ADA324556

Title :   A Study of Oceanic Subduction Using Tritium-Helium Dating.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Jan 90-30 Sep 96,

Corporate Author : WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INST MA DEPT OF MARINE CHEMISTRY AND GEOCHEMISTRY

Personal Author(s) : Jenkins, William J.

PDF Url : ADA324556

Report Date : 07 MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 15

Abstract : Tritium and He3 measurements were made on samples taken at over 200 stations during the period 1991-1993 in the Subduction Area. Combining these data with salinity, oxygen and geostrophy we can compute isopycnal diffusivities, oxygen consumption rates, and absolute velocities. The reference level velocities are determined to an accuracy of 1mm/s. A classic absolute velocity spiral is seen. The depth variation of computed vertical velocities is consistent with vorticity conservation, and extrapolates to within errors of surface ekman pumping and subduction rates. Isopycnal diffusivities are approximately 1200 m squared/s at a depth of 300m, and decrease gradually downward. The oxygen utilization rates (OURs) determined by the oxygen equations show an exponentially decreasing magnitude with depth. On the shallowest horizons, vertical integration of OUR yields a net water column oxygen demand of 4 mol(O2)/m squared/y, which corresponds to an export production of 2.5 mol/m squared/y carbon. I present a simple scheme to show how to relate the H3-He3 age to the advective age, and after correcting for vortex stretching, compute the subduction rate as a function of depth. The shallowest horizon has a subduction rate indistinguishable from climatological ekman pumping rates, but gradually exceeds the projected rates with depth. The difference may be attributed to the increasing importance of buoyancy forced subduction at higher latitudes.

Descriptors :   *OCEAN BOTTOM SAMPLING, *TRITIUM, *RADIOACTIVATION ANALYSIS, VELOCITY, VORTICES, DEPTH, HELIUM, SALINITY, NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN, OXYGEN CONSUMPTION.

Subject Categories : Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
      Radioactiv, Radioactive Wastes & Fission Prod

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE