The Five Year Dispersal of the Fukushima Signal Predicted Using Surface Drifters

Employing some 40 years of North Pacific drifter-track observations from the Global Drifter Program database, statistics defining the horizontal spread of radionuclides from Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean were investigated over a time scale of 5 years.

A novel two-iteration method makes the best use of the available drifter data.

Drifter-based predictions of the temporal progression of the leading edge of the radionuclide distribution are compared to observed radionuclide concentrations from research surveys occupied in 2012 and 2013. Good agreement between the drifter-based predictions and the observations is found.

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