Radiuin-226 and Radon-222 in the Coastal Waters of West Florida: High Concentrations and Atmospheric Degassing

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Science  05 Feb 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4533, pp. 667-670
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4533.667


On the central portion of the west Florida continental shelf, radionuclide activities show unusually wide variations: radium-226 activities up to 350 disintegrations per minute per 100 liters, radon-222 activities up to 1300 disintegrations per minute per 100 liters, and deficiencies of radon-222 as low as –10 disintegrations per minute per 100 liters. Florida's phosphate-rich strata seerm to be the principal source of the radionuclides, with the transfer occurring directly from sediments or indirectly in streams, ground-water flow, and geothermal springs. Winter storm fronts may enhance radon degassing in the shelf waters.