A critical analysis of climatic influences on indoor radon concentrations: implications for seasonal correction

Chris J Groves-Kirkby, Robin G M Crockett, Anthony R Denman, Paul S Phillips

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Although statistically-derived national Seasonal Correction Factors (SCFs) are conventionally used to convert sub-year radon concentration measurements to an annual mean, it has recently been suggested that external temperature could be used to derive local SCFs for short-term domestic measurements. To validate this approach, hitherto unanalysed radon and temperature data from an environmentally-stable location were analysed. Radon concentration and internal temperature were measured over periods totalling 1025 days during an overall period of 1762 days, the greatest continuous sampling period being 334 days, with corresponding meteorological data collected at a weather station 10 km distant. Mean daily, monthly and annual radon concentrations and internal temperatures were calculated. SCFs derived using monthly mean radon concentration, external temperature and internal-external temperature-difference were cross-correlated with each other and with published UK domestic SCF sets. Relatively good correlation exists between SCFs derived from radon concentration and internal-external temperature difference but correlation with external temperature, was markedly poorer. SCFs derived from external temperature correlate very well with published SCF tabulations, confirming that the complexity of deriving SCFs from temperature data may be outweighed by the convenience of using either of the existing domestic SCF tabulations. Mean monthly radon data fitted to a 12-month sinusoid showed reasonable correlation with many of the annual climatic parameter profiles, exceptions being atmospheric pressure, rainfall and internal temperature. Introducing an additional 6-month sinusoid enhanced correlation with these three parameters, the other correlations remaining essentially unchanged. Radon latency of the order of months in moisture-related parameters suggests that the principal driver for radon is total atmospheric moisture content rather than relative humidity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Early online date18 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Radon
  • climate
  • seasonal correction facto
  • time-series
  • atmospheric moisture content


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