Transport of 222Rn using the regional model REMO : a detailed comparison with measurements over Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The 222Rn concentration simulated by the regional atmospheric modelREMOover Europe and western
Siberia is compared to in-situ records in Europe, and discussed in the context of site effects for stations
that are also part of a CO2 observing network. The REMO model has a limited spatial domain, forced
at its lateral boundaries with meteorological fields of the European Centre for Medium-RangeWeather
Forecasts and with tracer concentrations issued from the TM3 global transport model. The modelled
222Rn field is compared to measurements at six stations: two coastal ones (Atlantic Ocean and Baltic
Sea), two low-elevation sites in plains, one mountain station and one high-altitude station. We show
that the synoptic and diurnal 222Rn variability as simulated by REMO (55 km by 55 km) is realistic.
In some cases REMO performs better than TM3, which is of coarser resolution, but this is not always
true. At Mace Head, a station located near the western edge of the REMO domain, we show that
the 222Rn “baseline” concentration is strongly influenced by boundary conditions, reflecting 222Rn
transport from North America across the Atlantic Ocean. At Schauinsland, a mountain station in southwestern
Germany, even though the spatial resolution ofREMOis not fine enough to reproduce transport
processes induced by local topography, a fairly good agreement between model and measurements can
be obtained, provided that one can determine from comparison of observed and modelled diurnal
temperature changes which layer of the model is suitable for comparison with the data. Finally, the
implications of modelling 222Rn are discussed here in the broader context of interpreting site effects
that may also affect CO2 continental observations in Europe.


  • A. Chevillard
  • P. Ciais
  • Ute Karstens
  • M. Heimann
  • M. Schmidt
  • I. Levin
  • D. Jacob
  • R. Podzun
  • V. Kazan
  • H. Sartorius
  • E. Weingartner
External organisations
  • Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-871
JournalTellus. Series B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes