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Title: Radon vertical profiles during the morning transition period
Authors: Williams, AG
Chambers, SD
Crawford, J
Griffiths, AD
Issue Date: 12-Nov-2017
Publisher: Research Gate
Citation: Williams, A. G., Chambers, S. D., Crawford, J., & Griffiths, A. D. (12-14 November, 2014). Radon vertical profiles during the morning transition period. Paper presented at the Atmospheric Composition & Chemistry Observations & Modelling Conference incorporating the Cape Grim Annual Science Meeting Aspendale, Victoria.
Abstract: Vertical profiles and suitably-conditioned surface time histories of the natural radioactive noble gas radon-222 (radon) have long been demonstrated to be useful as quantitative indicators of diurnal- to synoptic-scale mixing processes within the continental lower troposphere. Radon’s well-characterised and slowly-varying source function over (ice-free)terrestrial surfaces, together with its short half-life of 3.8 days, makes it a particularly suitable passive scalar for the evaluation of boundary layer and convective mixing parameterisation schemes in a range of regional and global climate and pollution transport models. We provide a brief overview of ANSTO measurement programs using radon to characterise vertical mixing in the lower atmosphere, together with examples of their applications in modelling and pollution studies. We then present preliminary results from recent field campaigns collecting high resolution vertical radon profiles in the terrestrial boundary layer over rural New South Wales, using a radon sampler mounted on an instrumented motor-glider. The flights were conducted in the lowest 1000m of the atmosphere and, together with simultaneous ground-based and tower measurements, document the dispersion of radon emissions accumulated below the nocturnal stable inversion into the developing daytime convective boundary layer during the important morning transition period.
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