QUT ePrints

The role of vegetation in enhancing radon concentration and ion production in the atmosphere

Jayaratne, Rohan, Ling, Xuan, & Morawska, Lidia (2011) The role of vegetation in enhancing radon concentration and ion production in the atmosphere. Environmental Science and Technology, 45(15), pp. 6350-6355.

View at publisher

Abstract

The role of ions in the production of atmospheric particles has gained wide interest due to their profound impact on climate. Away from anthropogenic sources, molecules are ionized by alpha radiation from radon exhaled from the ground and cosmic gamma radiation from space. These molecular ions quickly form into ‘cluster ions’, typically smaller than about 1.5 nm. Using our measurements and the published literature, we present evidence to show that cluster ion concentrations in forest areas are consistently higher than outside. Since alpha radiation cannot penetrate more than a few centimetres of soil, radon present deep in the ground cannot directly contribute to the measured cluster ion concentrations. We propose an additional mechanism whereby radon, which is water soluble, is brought up by trees and plants through the uptake of groundwater and released into the atmosphere by transpiration. We estimate that, in a forest comprising eucalyptus trees spaced 4m apart, approximately 28% of the radon in the air may be released by transpiration. Considering that 24% of the earth’s land area is still covered in forests; these findings have potentially important implications for atmospheric aerosol formation and climate.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
0 citations in Web of Science®

Citation countsare sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

22 since deposited on 18 Jul 2011
21 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 43337
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: radon, cluster ions, atmospheric ions, environmental radioactivity, atmospheric aerosols
DOI: 10.1021/es201152g
ISSN: 1086-931X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Sciences not elsewhere classified (040199)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 American Chemical Society
Deposited On: 18 Jul 2011 11:11
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2013 20:52

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page