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Title: Short-term variability of gamma radiation at the ARM Eastern North Atlantic facility (Azores)
Authors: Susana Alexandra Barbosa
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This work addresses the short-term variability of gamma radiation measured continuously at the Eastern North Atlantic (ENA) facility located in the Graciosa island (Azores, 39N; 28W), a fixed site of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement programme (ARM). The temporal variability of gamma radiation is characterized by occasional anomalies over a slowly-varying signal. Sharp peaks lasting typically 2–4 h are coincident with heavy precipitation and result from the scavenging effect of precipitation bringing radon progeny from the upper levels to the ground surface. However the connection between gamma variability and precipitation is not straightforward as a result of the complex interplay of factors such as the precipitation intensity, the PBL height, the cloud's base height and thickness, or the air mass origin and atmospheric concentration of sub-micron aerosols, which influence the scavenging processes and therefore the concentration of radon progeny. Convective precipitation associated with cumuliform clouds forming under conditions of warming of the ground relative to the air does not produce enhancements in gamma radiation, since the drop growing process is dominated by the fast accretion of liquid water, resulting in the reduction of the concentration of radionuclides by dilution. Events of convective precipitation further contribute to a reduction in gamma counts by inhibiting radon release from the soil surface and by attenuating gamma rays from all gamma-emitting elements on the ground. Anomalies occurring in the absence of precipitation are found to be associated with a diurnal cycle of maximum gamma counts before sunrise decreasing to a minimum in the evening, which are observed in conditions of thermal stability and very weak winds enabling the build-up of near surface radon progeny during the night. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
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Appears in Collections:CSIG - Articles in International Journals

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