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Beryllium-7 Aerosols in Ambient Air

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Volume: 9 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 187-197
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2009.01.0004
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Constantin Papastefanou

  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece


The aerodynamic size distribution of 7Be aerosol particles in ambient air was determined by using 1-ACFM and high-volume (HVI) cascade impactors, 20 m above the ground on the roof of the Faculty of Science building, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at Thessaloniki Greece (40o38’N, 22o58’E) from November 2006 to June 2008. The activity concentration of 7Be aerosols was determined by gamma spectrometry (Eγ = 0.477 MeV). The activity size distribution of 7Be-aerosols was largely associated with submicron aerosol particles in the accumulation mode (0.4-2.0 μm). The activity median aerodynamic diameter, AMAD varied from 0.76-1.18 μm (average 0.90 μm), indicating post-condensation growth either in the upper atmosphere or after mixing into the boundary layer. The geometric standard deviation, σg varied from 1.86-2.77 (average 2.24). The activity size distribution of 7Be-aerosols peaked in the 0.7-1.1 μm size range in the 65% of the measurements carried out by the 1-ACFM cascade impactor. In estimating lifetimes of 7Be-aerosols in ambient air, a mean residence time of about 8 days averaged for atmospheric aerosols of 0.90 μm AMAD size.


Beryllium-7 Radioactive aerosols Aerosol impactors 1-ACFM AMAD Residence time

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