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The distribution of bomb radiocarbon in the ocean


  • Wallace S. Broecker,

  • Tsung-Hung Peng,

  • Gote Ostlund,

  • Minze Stuiver


Water column inventories are calculated for bomb radiocarbon at all the stations occupied during the GEOSECS and NORPAX expeditions and for the available TTO stations. The pattern of global inventories obtained in this way suggests that a sizable portion of the bomb radiocarbon that entered the Antarctic, the northern Pacific, and the tropical ocean has been transported to the adjacent temperate zones. A strategy for utilizing these inventory anomalies as constraints on global ocean circulation models is presented. Essential to this strategy are the improvement of our knowledge of the pattern of wind speed over the ocean, the establishment of the wind speed dependence of the rate of gas exchange between the atmosphere and sea, and the continued mapping of the distribution of bomb-produced radiocarbon in the sea.

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