Atlantic Water Flow Pathways Revealed by Lead Contamination in Arctic Basin Sediments

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Science  17 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5533, pp. 1301-1304
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062167

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Contaminant lead in sediments underlying boundary currents in the Arctic Ocean provides an image of current organization and stability during the past 50 years. The sediment distributions of lead, stable lead isotope ratios, and lead-210 in the major Arctic Ocean basins reveal close coupling of the Eurasian Basin with the North Atlantic during the 20th century. They indicate that the Atlantic water boundary current in the Eurasian Basin has been a prominent pathway, that contaminant lead from the Laptev Sea supplies surface water in the transpolar drift, and that the Canadian and Eurasian basins have been historically decoupled.

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