Natural radionuclides as tracers of coastal biogeochemical processes

J. Kirk Cochran, H. Feng, D. Amiel, A. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper presents an overview of the ways that natural radionuclides have been used as tracers of biogeochemical processes occurring in the coastal ocean. The radionuclides involved include those in the uranium and thorium decay series and those produced in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric gases (i.e., cosmogenic radionuclides). The property of radioactivity provides a chronometer with which to measure the rates of oceanic processes, and the fundamental biogeochemical behavior of the radionuclide determines which process(es) it may be used to trace. Examples from recent research will be presented in the talk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-379
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Geochemical Exploration
Issue number1-3 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Beryllium-7
  • Radionuclides
  • Radium
  • Submarine groundwater discharge
  • Thorium-234


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