Numerical modelling of radon-222 entry into houses: An outline of techniques and results

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


    Numerical modelling is a powerful tool for studies of soil gas and radon-222 entry into houses. It is the purpose of this paper to review some main techniques and results. In the past, modelling has focused on Darcy flow of soil gas (driven by indoor–outdoor pressure differences) and combined diffusive and advective transport of radon. Models of different complexity have been used. The simpler ones are finite-difference models with one or two spatial dimensions. The more complex models allow for full three-dimensional and time dependency. Advanced features include: soil heterogeneity, anisotropy, fractures, moisture, non-uniform soil temperature, non-Darcy flow of gas, and flow caused by changes in the atmospheric pressure. Numerical models can be used to estimate the importance of specific factors for radon entry. Models are also helpful when results obtained in special laboratory or test structure experiments need to be extrapolated to more general situations (e.g. to real houses or even to other soil–gas pollutants). Finally, models provide a cost-effective test bench for improved designs of radon prevention systems. The paper includes a summary of transport equations and boundary conditions. As an illustrative example, radon entry is calculated for a standard slab-on-grade house.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue number1-3
    Pages (from-to)33-42
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    EventWorkshop on Radon in the Living Environment - Athens, Greece
    Duration: 19 Apr 199923 Apr 1999


    WorkshopWorkshop on Radon in the Living Environment
    Internet address


    • Advection
    • Diffusion
    • Houses
    • Modelling
    • Radon-222
    • Soils
    • Transport

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