Strontium 90 in the Great Lakes: Concentration-time model

Abraham Lerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Concentration-time models for 90Sr in the Great Lakes deal with transient concentrations of a radionuclide in a chain of mixed lakes and in a chain of periodically stratified lakes. In the model, the lakes receive time-dependent input of 90Sr from atmosphere and land (0–10% of annual deposit in the land drainage basins). Removal of 90Sr from lake water is by outflow and decay. In the five Great Lakes computed concentrations of 90Sr rise from nil (assumed) in 1953 to a maximum in 1964–1965, followed by a gradual decline until 1969. Computed concentrations are comparable to the range of reported values. However, a closer agreement between the model and reported concentrations requires the rates of input in 1962–1964 to be higher than the mean, as well as the rates of removal to be faster (by 6–8%) than the removal by decay and mean outflow. Seasonal stratification of the lakes has virtually no effect on mean annual concentrations of 90Sr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3256-3264
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Jun 20 1972
Externally publishedYes


  • Geochemistry
  • Great Lakes
  • Strontium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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