Tritium and radiocarbon in the water column of the Red Sea

P. P. Povinec, V. P. Papadopoulos, Georgios Krokos, Yasser Abualnaja, A. Pavlidou, I. Kontuľ, J. Kaizer, A. Cherkinsky, A. Molnár, M. Molnár, L. Palcsu, A. S. Al Ghamdi, H. A. Anber, A. S. Al Othman, Ibrahim Hoteit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite being the busiest transient sea in the world due to the Suez Canal, radionuclide distribution studies in seawater and sediment of the Red Sea remain rare. A sampling expedition in the Red Sea was conducted from June 9 to July 6, 2021, visiting a transect of several deep sampling stations located along the central axis of the basin from the Gulf of Aqaba to the southern Red Sea (near Farasan Island, Saudi Arabia). The collected seawater profile samples were analyzed for tritium, radiocarbon and oxygen-18. The observed tritium levels in surface waters of the Red Sea peaked at 0.3–0.4 TU, similar to the values observed in the western Arabian Sea (decay corrected). The values observed at waters below 150 m were around 0.2 TU, however, at depths of 450 and 750 m, tritium minima (
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107051
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
StatePublished - Oct 27 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-11-02
Acknowledgements: This publication is based on work supported by funded project “Marine and Coastal Assessment Protection Study for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Coastline” (under contract number 062/475000300/284) made between the Saudi National Center for Environmental Compliance (NCEC) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The Captain, the crew and scientific staff of the R/V AEGAEO are acknowledged for their assistance during the cruise. We especially appreciate the collaboration with, and advice offered by the other members of the Marine and Coastal Assessment Protection Study Initiative, who hail from different departments at the NCEC and KAUST.


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