Lead-210 in Natural Waters

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Science  14 Jul 1961:
Vol. 134, Issue 3472, pp. 98-99
DOI: 10.1126/science.134.3472.98


The distribution of lead-210 which enters the oceans subsequent to its production in the atmosphere by radon-222 decay, shows an increase with depth in sea water. By use of a simplified two-layer model of the ocean, a residence time of lead in the upper mixed layer of less than 2 years is derived. It is suggested that the marine biosphere is responsible for the conveyance of lead from surface to deeper waters. The distribution of lead-210 in the Colorado River indicated a rapid removal along the path from its origin in the feed waters to the reservoir at Lake Mead.