Influence of the meteorological input on the local and global atmospheric transport of radionuclides after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident


D. Arnold, C. Maurer, G. Wotawa, R. Draxler, K. Saito, P. Seibert


J. Environ. Radioactivity, DOI:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.02.013


Abstract - In the present paper the role of precipitation as FLEXPART model input is investigated for one possible release scenario of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Precipitation data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF), the NOAA's National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), the Japan Meteorological Agency's (JMA) mesoscale analysis and a JMA radar-rain gauge precipitation analysis product were utilized. The accident of Fukushima in March 2011 and the following observations enable us to assess the impact of these precipitation products at least for this single case. As expected the differences in the statistical scores are visible but not large. Increasing the ECMWF resolution of all the fields from 0.5 to 0.2 rises the correlation from 0.71 to 0.80 and an overall rank from 3.38 to 3.44. Substituting ECMWF precipitation, while the rest of the variables remains unmodified, by the JMA mesoscale precipitation analysis and the JMA radar gauge precipitation data yield the best results on a regional scale, specially when a new and more robust wet deposition scheme is introduced. The best results are obtained with a combination of ECMWF 0.2 data with precipitation from JMA mesoscale analyses and the modified wet deposition with a correlation of 0.83 and an overall rank of 3.58. NCEP-based results with the same source term are generally poorer, giving correlations around 0.66, and comparatively large negative biases and an overall rank of 3.05 that worsens when regional precipitation data is introduced.


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