Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 3843-3853, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
17 Apr 2014
On the variability of atmospheric 222Rn activity concentrations measured at Neumayer, coastal Antarctica
R. Weller1, I. Levin2, D. Schmithüsen2, M. Nachbar2, J. Asseng1, and D. Wagenbach2 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2Institut für Umweltphysik, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Abstract. We report on continuously measured 222Rn activity concentrations in near-surface air at Neumayer Station in the period 1995–2011. This 17-year record showed no long-term trend and has overall mean ± standard deviation of (0.019 ± 0.012) Bq m−3. A distinct and persistent seasonality could be distinguished with maximum values of (0.028 ± 0.013) Bq m−3 from January to March and minimum values of (0.015 ± 0.009) Bq m−3 from May to October. Elevated 222Rn activity concentrations were typically associated with air mass transport from the Antarctic Plateau. Our results do not support a relation between enhanced 222Rn activity concentrations at Neumayer and cyclonic activity or long-range transport from South America. The impact of oceanic 222Rn emissions could not be properly assessed but we tentatively identified regional sea ice extent (SIE) variability as a significant driver of the annual 222Rn cycle.

Citation: Weller, R., Levin, I., Schmithüsen, D., Nachbar, M., Asseng, J., and Wagenbach, D.: On the variability of atmospheric 222Rn activity concentrations measured at Neumayer, coastal Antarctica, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 3843-3853, doi:10.5194/acp-14-3843-2014, 2014.
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