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Modelling of the Anthropogenic Tritium Transient and Its Decay Product Helium-3 in the Mediterranean Sea Using a High-resolution Regional Model : Volume 11, Issue 6 (05/12/2014)

By Ayache, M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004020819
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 42
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Modelling of the Anthropogenic Tritium Transient and Its Decay Product Helium-3 in the Mediterranean Sea Using a High-resolution Regional Model : Volume 11, Issue 6 (05/12/2014)  
Author: Ayache, M.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 6
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Beuvier, J., Jean-Baptiste, P., Beranger, K., Dutay, J., Ayache, M., Arsouze, T.,...Le-Vu, B. (2014). Modelling of the Anthropogenic Tritium Transient and Its Decay Product Helium-3 in the Mediterranean Sea Using a High-resolution Regional Model : Volume 11, Issue 6 (05/12/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), IPSL, CEA/UVSQ/CNRS, Orme des Merisiers, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France. This numerical study provides the first simulation of the anthropogenic tritium invasion and its decay product helium-3 (3He) in the Mediterranean Sea. The simulation covers the entire tritium (3H) transient generated by the atmospheric nuclear-weapon tests performed in the 1950s and early 1960s and run till 2011. Tritium, helium-3 and their derived age estimates are particularly suitable for studying intermediate and deep-water ventilation and spreading of water masses at intermediate/deep levels. The simulation is made using a high resolution regional model NEMO-MED12 forced at the surface with prescribed tritium evolution derived from observations.

The simulation is compared to measurements of tritium and helium-3 performed along large-scale transects in the Mediterranean Sea during the last few decades on cruises of Meteor M5/6, M31/1, M44/4, M51/2, M84/3, and Poseidon 234. The results show that the input function used for the tritium, generates a realistic distribution of the main hydrographic features of the Mediterranean Sea circulation. In the eastern basin, the results highlight the weak formation of Adriatic Deep Water in the model, which explains its weak contribution to the Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water in the Ionian sub-basin. It produces a realistic representation of the Eastern Mediterranean Transient signal, simulating a deep-water formation in the Aegean sub-basin at the beginning of the 1993, with a realistic timing of deep-water renewal in the eastern basin. In the western basin, the unusual intense deep convection event of winter 2005 in the Gulf of Lions during the Western Mediterranean Transition is simulated. However the spreading of the recently ventilated deep water toward the South is too weak. The ventilation and spreading of the Levantine Intermediate Water from the eastern basin toward the western basin is simulated with realistic tracer-age distribution compared to observation-based estimates.

Modelling of the anthropogenic tritium transient and its decay product helium-3 in the Mediterranean Sea using a high-resolution regional model

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