Radionuclides and recent sedimentation and mixing rates in Northern Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, Red Sea

Daniela Pittauerová, Gerald Kirchner, Dieter Garbe-Schönberg, Barak Herut, Ami Nishri, Helmut W. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural radionuclides and man-made 137Cs were analyzed in five short sediment cores taken in northern part of the Gulf of Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba) in order to provide information on sedimentation and mixing rates and sediment sources. The maximum estimates of sedimentation rates based on excess 210Pb were found to vary between 0.105±0.020 and 0.35±0.23cmyear-1. Even the lowest estimates are significantly higher than those expected from dust deposition, suggesting other sources and processes being responsible for most of the allochthonous material accumulation, including periodical floods following heavy rain events, internal erosion or triggers, like earthquakes. In 137Cs depth profiles no 1963 related nuclear weapon test maxima were found; instead, the activities decrease monotonically, suggesting that a major process leading to radionuclides' depth distribution might be mixing. The mixing rates calculated from 137Cs, excess 210Pb and excess 228Th reach values up to 2.18±0.69cm2year-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Marine Systems
StatePublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the "WTZ Germany-Israel" framework under grant No. 03F0445A to D.G.-S., and by the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) under grant No. GR1952 to B.H. We would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions on the manuscript.


  • Gamma spectrometry
  • Gulf of Aqaba
  • Gulf of Eilat
  • Sediment chronology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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