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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 06 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Inter-comparison study of atmospheric 222Rn and 222Rn progeny monitors

Claudia Grossi1,2, Olivier Llido3, Felix R. Vogel4, Victor Kazan3, Alessandro Capuana5, Scott D. Chambers6, Sylvester Werczynski6, Roger Curcoll7,8, Marc Delmotte3, Arturo Vargas1, Josep-Anton Morguí7,9, Ingeborg Levin5, and Michel Ramonet3 Claudia Grossi et al.
  • 1Institut de Tècniques Energètiques (INTE), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Physics Department, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Université Paris-Saclay (LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 4Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Canada
  • 5Institut für Umweltphysik (IUP), Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 6Environmental Research, ANSTO, Lucas Heights, Australia
  • 7Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
  • 8Chemical Department, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 9Departament Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals,Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. The use of the noble gas radon (222Rn) as tracer for different research studies, for example observation-based estimation of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, has led to the need of high-quality 222Rn activity concentration observations with high spatial and temporal resolution. So far a robust metrology chain for these measurements is not yet available. A 3-month inter-comparison campaign of atmospheric 222Rn and 222Rn progeny monitors based on different measurement techniques was realized during the fall and winter of 2016-2017 to evaluate: i) calibration and correction factors between monitors necessary to harmonize the atmospheric radon observations; and ii) the dependence of each monitor’s response in relation to the sampling height, meteorological and atmospheric aerosol conditions. Results of this study have shown that: i) all monitors were able to reproduce the atmospheric radon variability on daily basis; ii) linear regression fits between the monitors exhibited slopes between 0.62 and 1.17 and offsets ranging between −0.85 Bq m−3 and −0.23 Bq m−3 when sampling 2 m above ground level (a.g.l.). Corresponding results at 100 m a.g.l. exhibited slopes of 0.94 and 1.03 with offsets of −0.13 Bq m−3 and 0.01 Bq m−3, respectively; iii) no influence of atmospheric temperature and relative humidity on monitor responses was observed for unsaturated conditions; and iv) changes of the ratio between radon progeny and radon monitor responses were observed under very high atmospheric humidity and under very low atmospheric aerosol concentrations. However, a more statistically robust evaluation of these last influences based on a longer dataset should be conducted to improve the harmonization of the data.

Claudia Grossi et al.
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Status: open (until 01 Jan 2020)
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Claudia Grossi et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The sustainable support of radon metrology at the environmental level offers new scientific possibilities for the quantification of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions and the determination of their source terms as well as for the identification of radioactive sources for the assessment of radiation exposure. Our study helps to harmonize the techniques coomonly used for atmospheric radon concentration measurements.
The sustainable support of radon metrology at the environmental level offers new scientific...