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Submesoscale mixing on initial dilution of radionuclides released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Kamidaira, Yuki; Uchiyama, Yusuke*; Kawamura, Hideyuki; Kobayashi, Takuya; Furuno, Akiko

We developed a submesoscale eddy-resolving oceanic dispersal modeling system consisting of a double nested oceanic downscaling model and an offline oceanic radionuclides dispersion model to investigate influences of submesoscale coherent structures (SCSs) and associated ageostrophic secondary circulations (ASCs) on the three-dimensional (3D) dispersal and initial dilution of the dissolved radioactive $$^{137}$$Cs accidentally released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP1) occurred since March 2011. The extensive model-data comparison demonstrates that the elaborated innermost high-resolution model at a lateral grid resolution of 1 km successfully reproduces transient mesoscale oceanic structures, the Kuroshio path and stratification, and spatiotemporal variations of 3D $$^{137}$$Cs concentrations. These SCSs and ASCs occurred primarily due to shear instability with baroclinic instability as the secondary mechanism, according to energy conversion and spectral analyses. The vertical $$^{137}$$Cs flux analysis was performed with decomposition of the variables into the mean, mesoscale, and submesoscale components using frequency and wavenumber filters. The vertical $$^{137}$$Cs flux analysis explained that 84% of the FNPP1-derived $$^{137}$$Cs was transported downward below the mixed layer by eddies, with the major contributions from ASCs induced by submesoscale eddies.

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Category:Oceanography

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