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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 20 Sep 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Temporal variation of 129I and 127I in aerosols from Xi'an, China: influence of East Asian monsoon and heavy haze events

Luyuan Zhang1,2, Xiaolin Hou1,2,3, Sheng Xu4, Tian Feng1, Peng Cheng1, Yunchong Fu1, and Ning Chen1 Luyuan Zhang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Technology and Application, Xi'an AMS Center, Institute of Earth Environment CAS, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 2Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xian 710061, China
  • 3Center for Nuclear Technologies, Technical University of Denmark, Risø Campus, Roskilde 4000, Denmark
  • 4Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

Abstract. Aerosol iodine isotopes are pivotal links in atmospheric circulation of iodine in both atmospheric and nuclear sciences, while their sources, temporal change and transport are still not well understood. This work presents the day-resolution temporal variation of iodine-129 (129I) and iodine-127 (127I) in aerosols from Xi'an, northwest China during 2017/2018. Both iodine isotopes have significant fluctuations with time, showing highest levels in winter, approximately two to three times higher than in other seasons, but the correlation between 129I and 127I reflects they have different sources. Aerosol 127I is found to be noticeably positively correlated with air quality index and five air pollutants. Enhanced fossil fuel combustion and inverse weather conditions can explain the increased concentrations and peaks of 127I in winter. The change of 129I confirms that source and level of 129I in the monsoonal region were alternatively dominated by the 129I-enriched East Asian winter monsoon and 129I-poor East Asian summer monsoon. The mean 129I/127I of (101 ± 124) × 10−10 provides an atmospheric background level for the purpose of nuclear environmental safety monitoring. This study suggests that locally discharged stable 127I and externally input 129I are likely involved into fine particles formation in urban air, shedding insights into long-range transport of air pollutants and iodine's role in particulate formation in urban atmosphere.

Luyuan Zhang et al.
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Status: open (until 15 Nov 2019)
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Luyuan Zhang et al.
Luyuan Zhang et al.
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Short summary
To tracing long-range transport of air pollutants and understanding atmospheric effect of iodine, the daily-resolution temporal variations of 129I and 127I in aerosols from a monsoonal city indicate East Asian monsoon and fossil fuel combustion plays crucial roles on transport of 129I from Europe to East Asia, and on elevated 127I concentrations, respectively. Through linking iodine isotopes with five major air pollutants, this study proposes the possible role of iodine in urban air pollution.
To tracing long-range transport of air pollutants and understanding atmospheric effect of...