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Identification of airborne radioactive spatial patterns in Europe - Feasibility study using Beryllium-7

TitleIdentification of airborne radioactive spatial patterns in Europe - Feasibility study using Beryllium-7
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHernández-Ceballos, M.Á., Cinelli Giorgia, Tollefsen T., and Marín-Ferrer M.
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Keywordsair pollutant, Air Pollutants, Air pollution, analysis, article, atmosphere, Atmospheric chemistry, Atmospheric radioactivity, Beryllium, beryllium 7, beryllium isotope, climate, Clouds, cluster analysis, Cluster methodology, comparative study, concentration (composition), concentration (parameters), controlled study, Environmental impact, Environmental monitoring, Europe, European Union, Feasibility studies, feasibility study, Geographic distribution, heterogeneity, Hierarchical clustering approach, Hierarchical systems, Latitudinal distribution, Monthly index, particulate matter, procedures, Radiation, radiation monitoring, Radioactive, radioactivity, Radioactivity concentration, radioisotope, Radioisotopes, Sampling, spatial analysis, spatial data, spatial distribution, surface property, Transformation, tropopause, Tropopause height, troposphere

The present study proposes a methodology to identify spatial patterns in airborne radioactive particles in Europe. The methodology is based on transforming the activity concentrations in the set of stations for each month (monthly index), due to the tightly spaced sampling intervals (daily to monthly), in combination with hierarchical and non-hierarchical clustering approaches, due to the lack of a priori knowledge of the number of clusters to be created. Three different hierarchical cluster methodologies are explored to set the optimal number of clusters necessary to initialize the non-hierarchical one (k-means).To evaluate this methodology, cosmogenic beryllium-7 (7Be) data, collected between 2007 and 2010 at 19 sampling stations in European Union (EU) countries and stored in the Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring (REM) database, are used. This methodology yields a solution with three distinguishable clusters (south, central and north), each with a different evolution of the 7Be monthly index. Clear differences between monthly indices are shown in both intensity and time trends, following a latitudinal distribution of the sampling stations.This cluster result is evaluated performing ANOVA analysis, considering the original 7Be activity concentrations grouped in each cluster. The statistical results (among clusters and sampling stations within clusters) confirm the spatial distribution of 7Be in Europe, and, hence, reinforce the use of this methodology. Finally, the impact of tropopause height on this grouping is successfully tested, suggesting its influence on the spatial distribution of 7Be in Europe.For airborne radioactive particles the analysis gave valuable results that improve knowledge of these atmospheric compounds in Europe. Hence, this work addresses a methodology to a grouping of airborne sampling stations, 1) allowing a better understanding of the distribution of 7Be activity concentrations in the EU, and 2) serving as a basis for further investigation of the heterogeneity of airborne radioactivity concentrations in Europe. © 2016 The Authors.


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Citation KeyHernández-Ceballos201655