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Meteorological Approach in the Identification of Local and Remote Potential Sources of Radon: An Example in Northern Iberian Peninsula

TitoloMeteorological Approach in the Identification of Local and Remote Potential Sources of Radon: An Example in Northern Iberian Peninsula
Tipo di pubblicazioneArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Anno di Pubblicazione2023
AutoriHernández-Ceballos, M.Ás., Alegría N., Peñalva I., Muñoz J.M., De la Torre A., Legarda F., and Cinelli Giorgia
RivistaInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Parole chiaveair pollutant, Air Pollutants, Environmental monitoring, procedures, Radioactive, Radon, season, Seasons, Soil, wind

This paper presents a meteorological approach to identify local and remote sources driving the variability of surface daily radon concentrations. To this purpose, hourly 222Rn concentration and surface meteorological measurements, and air mass trajectories at Bilbao station (northern Iberian Peninsula) during the period 2017–2018 have been taken as reference. To investigate the potential transport pathways and potential 222Rn sources, the backward trajectory cluster analysis, trajectory sector analysis (TSA), and potential source contribution function (PSCF) are applied. On average, the diurnal 222Rn cycle shows the expected behaviour, with larger concentrations during the night and minimum concentrations during the daylight hours, with differences in the seasonal amplitudes. According to daily differences between maximum and baseline values, 222Rn daily cycles were grouped into six groups to identify meteorological conditions associated with each amplitude, and potential source areas and transport routes of 222Rn over Bilbao. The trajectory cluster and the TSA method show that the main airflow pathways are from the south, with small displacement, and the northeast, while the analysis of surface wind speed and direction indicates that the highest amplitudes of 222Rn concentrations are registered under the development of sea-land breezes. The PSCF method identified south-western and north-eastern areas highly contributing to the 222Rn concentration. These areas are confirmed by comparing with the radon flux map and the European map of uranium concentration in soil. The results have demonstrated the need in combining the analysis of local and regional/synoptic factors in explaining the origin and variability of 222Rn concentrations. © 2023 by the authors.


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Citation KeyHernández-Ceballos2023