Steve Jayne, a physical oceanographer from WHOI and an expert in the Kuroshio Current and ocean circulation in the vicinity of the Japan archipelago, will lead the effort to understand the fate and pathways of radiation in the ocean. His team will deploy drifters to directly track water parcels in the region of the Fukushima power plants, collect profiles of temperature, salinity and oxygen through the water column, and will use shipboard Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) to measure ocean velocity. These efforts will allow Jayne and his colleagues to characterize transport and water masses required for modeling dispersion and removal of radionuclide contaminants.
"It is important that we have in situ data on the trajectories of the water parcels. There has been a lot of numerical modeling of the where the contaminated water is going, but very little real data to validate the models. Satellite data is useful, but the surface drifters and other ocean data will provide ground truth to check the model predictions," Jayne said.
In addition to bringing warm tropical waters north, the Kuroshio Current transports organisms long distances and is an important migration route for a variety of commercially important marine organisms in various stages of their life cycles. Biological samples and measurements, among the first to be collected offshore, will be
|Contact: Stephanie Murphy|
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution