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Probabilistic indicators of atmospheric transport for regional monitoring and emergency preparedness systems

Environment International
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0160-4120(03)00100-4
  • Atmospheric Transport
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Monitoring
  • Impact Zone


Abstract In this paper, following a methodology developed within the “Arctic Risk” Project of the Nordic Arctic Research Programme, several probabilistic indicators to evaluate the risk site possible impact on the geographical regions, territories, countries, counties, cities, etc., due to atmospheric transport from the risk site region were suggested. These indicators—maximum possible impact zone, maximum reaching distance, and typical transport time—were constructed by applying statistical methods and using a dataset of isentropic trajectories originated over the selected nuclear risk site (Ignalina nuclear power plant, Lithuania) during 1991–1996. For this site, the areas enclosed by isolines of the maximum possible impact zone and maximum reaching distance indicators are equal to 42×10 4 and 703×10 4 km 2, respectively. The maximum possible impact zone's boundaries are more extended in the southeast sector from the site and include, in particular, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and several western regions of Russia. The maximum reaching distance's boundaries are twice more extended in the eastern direction from the site (reaching the Caspian Sea) compared with the western direction. The typical transport time to reach the southern territories of Sweden and Finland, northern regions of Ukraine, and northeast of Poland is 1 day. During this time, the atmospheric transport could typically occur over the Baltic States, Belarus, and western border regions of Russia, and central aquatoria of the Baltic Sea. Detailed analysis of temporal patterns for these indicators showed importance of the seasonal variability.

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