The Dependence of Radon Concentration on Meteorological Phenomena

Faculty Sponsor

Shirvel Stanislaus


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-2-2015


Pressure gradients between gas trapped in the soil and the interior air are known to influence the rate at which radon gas enters buildings. These pressure gradients have been experimentally connected with natural fluctuations in atmospheric pressure and other types of meteorological phenomena. Recently, there have been observations in Valparaiso households that the radon concentration fluctuates over a 24-hour period. To determine if changes in atmospheric pressure are responsible for this oscillation, a known radon source was monitored in the lab in conjunction with the interior pressure. From this study, the radon peaks were determined to correspond with decreases in pressure. The study was further expanded to study the radon concentration dependence on atmospheric pressure in three local Valparaiso households over 90 hour intervals. The results of this study will be disclosed in the presentation.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Kelsey Larson is a chemistry and physics double major pursuing PhD programs in atmospheric/environmental science with a specific focus in atmospheric chemistry and air quality. This specific project was chosen as part of a senior research project that uniquely combined air quality, atmospheric dynamics, and nuclear physics and, as such, is a stepping stone to working with chemical detection/modeling in graduate school.

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