Tritium in the Dead Sea

I. Carmi, J. R. Gat, M. Stiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Tritium data in the Dead Sea for the period 1960-1979 are given. Tritium levels have increased until 1965 in the upper layers of the Dead Sea reaching a level of 170 TU, in response to the atmospheric buildup of tritium from thermonuclear testing. The levels have been decreasing ever since, both because of rapidly declining atmospheric concentrations of tritium and because of mixing of the surface layers with tritium deficient, deeper water masses. The depth of penetration of the tracer delineated the depth of meromictic stratification and successfully monitored the deepening of the pycnocline, until the overturn in 1979 homogenised the entire tritium profile. Modelling the changing tritium inventory over this period showed the predominance of the direct exchange across the air/sea interface, both in the buildup of tritium in the lake and also in its subsequent removal from it. The good fit between calculated and measured tritium inventories confirmed the evaporation estimate of 1.46 m/yr (the mean value for the period) with a precision unattained by other methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-389
Number of pages13
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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