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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/amt-2016-112
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
30 Jun 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Assessment of 222Radon progeny loss in long tubing based on static filter measurements in the laboratory and in the field
Ingeborg Levin1, Dominik Schmithüsen1, and Alex Vermeulen2,a 1Institut für Umweltphysik (IUP), Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), 1755LE Petten, The Netherlands
anow at: ICOS ERIC - Carbon Portal, Lund, Sweden
Abstract. Aerosol loss in air intake systems potentially hampers the application of one-filter systems for progeny-based atmospheric 222Radon (222Rn) measurements. The artefacts are significant when air has to be collected via long sampling lines, e.g. from elevated heights at tall tower observatories. Here we present results from a study, determining 222Rn progeny loss from ambient air sampled via 8.2 mm inner diameter (ID) Decabon tubing (laboratory test) and from pre-installed 10 mm ID tubing at the Cabauw meteorological tower in the Netherlands. Progeny loss increased exponentially with length of the tubing, decreasing sampling efficiency to 66 % for 8.2 mm ID rolled-up tubing of 200 m length. Theoretical estimation of the loss yielded a sampling efficiency of 64 % for the same tubing, when taking into account turbulent inertial deposition of aerosol to the walls as well as loss due to gravitational settling. At Cabauw tower, theoretical estimates of the loss in vertical tubing with 10 mm ID and 200 m lengths yielded a total efficiency of 75 %, while we observed a slightly smaller sampling efficiency of 73 %. 222Rn progeny loss increased strongly at activity concentrations below 1 Bq m−3. Based on our experiments, an empirical correction function for 222Rn progeny measurements when sampling through long Decabon tubing was developed, allowing correction of respective measurements with an estimated uncertainty of 10–20 % for activity concentrations above 1 Bq m−3 and less than 10 % for activity concentrations above 2 Bq m−3.

Citation: Levin, I., Schmithüsen, D., and Vermeulen, A.: Assessment of 222Radon progeny loss in long tubing based on static filter measurements in the laboratory and in the field, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-112, in review, 2016.
Ingeborg Levin et al.
Ingeborg Levin et al.
Ingeborg Levin et al.

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Short summary
Measurements of the radioactive noble gas 222Radon are used to parameterise atmospheric transport in the lower troposphere. 222Radon can be measured via its decay products, which are bound to aerosol. Air sampling through long tubing may, however, cause severe aerosol and corresponding radon daughter activity loss. We have quantified this loss through laboratory and field experiments and suggest as main loss process turbulent inertial deposition of the aerosol on the walls of the tubing.
Measurements of the radioactive noble gas 222Radon are used to parameterise atmospheric...
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