OROGRAPHICAL AND CLIMATOLOGICAL INFLUENCES ON DEPOSITION OF NUCLEAR-BOMB DEBRIS

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  • 1 Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
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Abstract

The behavior of nuclear bomb debris in the atmosphere is reviewed in order to see how far such debris might be used as a tracer in atmospheric physics. Much debris seems to be captured by orographic precipitation, and information about the development of orographic clouds might be found by measurements of radioactivity in precipitation.

Deposition of bomb debris from the stratosphere is examined by available world-wide measurements of long-lived radioactive isotopes. The simple assumption that Sr90 is more rapidly brought down to earth by precipitation than is Cs137 is shown to be reasonable. This might explain Norwegian, Danish, and British measurements of the Cs137/Sr90 ratio in precipitation, provided that various climatic factors are taken into account. This interpretation of the Cs137/Sr90 ratio together with measured total Sr90 deposition is in agreement with accepted latitudinal flow models for low and medium latitudes.

Abstract

The behavior of nuclear bomb debris in the atmosphere is reviewed in order to see how far such debris might be used as a tracer in atmospheric physics. Much debris seems to be captured by orographic precipitation, and information about the development of orographic clouds might be found by measurements of radioactivity in precipitation.

Deposition of bomb debris from the stratosphere is examined by available world-wide measurements of long-lived radioactive isotopes. The simple assumption that Sr90 is more rapidly brought down to earth by precipitation than is Cs137 is shown to be reasonable. This might explain Norwegian, Danish, and British measurements of the Cs137/Sr90 ratio in precipitation, provided that various climatic factors are taken into account. This interpretation of the Cs137/Sr90 ratio together with measured total Sr90 deposition is in agreement with accepted latitudinal flow models for low and medium latitudes.

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