2018 Volume 14 Pages 111-115
Atmospheric radon-222 (222Rn) variability is analyzed and compared with model simulations made by the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM), with three horizontal resolutions (223, 56, and 14 km), in order to understand high 222Rn events predominantly caused by frontal activities. Seasonal variations of event frequency are well reproduced by the model, with correlation coefficients of 0.79 (223 km) to 0.99 (14 km). The three horizontal resolutions can reproduce general features of the observed peak shapes of events in winter, which dominantly reflect the passage of cold fronts that trap dense amounts of 222Rn. Peak height and width are well reproduced by the 56 km and 14 km resolution models, while the 223 km resolution model shows much lower and broader peaks due to insufficient resolution. We also find that simulations of 222Rn and equivalent potential temperature gradient (|∇θe|) during the events show similar horizontal distributions around the 222Rn observation station, suggesting |∇θe| is a useful tool to understand the variability of atmospheric components around fronts. Consequently, model with horizontal resolution of 56 km and 14 km can well simulate spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric components driven by frontal activities, while 223 km resolution is not enough to reproduce them.