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Title: Generation and mobility of radon in soil: Annual technical progress report

Abstract

This research program is designed to evaluate the extent and nature of uranium and radium depletion and/or enrichment in soil horizons, as a function of climate and other factors affecting soil character; evaluate the relation of radon emanation coefficient to soil type, soil properties, soil-forming factors and radon levels in soil gas; and evaluate the relation of fragipans, soil mixture and soil permeability to radon concentration and radon flux in soil profiles. During the first year of this project, five soil profiles in central Pennsylvania (3 over limestone/dolomite, 2 over sandstone) were sampled and described and a variety of analysis, including radium and uranium, conducted on the samples, as summarized on table 1. The radon content of soil gas through the profiles was measured at approximately two week intervals throughout the year, so that we now have essentially a year of data. Cores were collected from four soil profiles at a variety of depths and the permeability, diffusion coefficient and emanation coefficient are being measured over a range of moisture contents and temperatures. Selective chemical extractions were used to determine the form of radium and uranium in the soil. 7 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park (USA). Coll. of Earth and Mineral Sciences
OSTI Identifier:
6917355
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6917355; Legacy ID: DE89003042
Report Number(s):
DOE/ER/60577-T1
ON: DE89003042
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-87ER60577
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; RADON 220; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; RADON 222; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; SEASONAL VARIATIONS; DRILL CORES; GROUND WATER; PENNSYLVANIA; PERMEABILITY; PROGRESS REPORT; RESPONSE MODIFYING FACTORS; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; SOIL MECHANICS; SOILS; URANIUM; ACTINIDES; ALPHA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; DAYS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; DISTRIBUTION; DOCUMENT TYPES; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; ELEMENTS; EVEN-EVEN NUCLEI; FEDERAL REGION III; HEAVY NUCLEI; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; ISOTOPES; MECHANICS; METALS; NORTH AMERICA; NUCLEI; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; RADIOISOTOPES; RADON ISOTOPES; SECONDS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; USA; VARIATIONS; WATER 054000* -- Nuclear Fuels-- Health & Safety; 510300 -- Environment, Terrestrial-- Radioactive Materials Monitoring & Transport-- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Rose, A.W. Generation and mobility of radon in soil: Annual technical progress report. United States: N. p., 1988. Web.
Rose, A.W. Generation and mobility of radon in soil: Annual technical progress report. United States.
Rose, A.W. Fri . "Generation and mobility of radon in soil: Annual technical progress report". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6917355,
title = {Generation and mobility of radon in soil: Annual technical progress report},
author = {Rose, A.W.},
abstractNote = {This research program is designed to evaluate the extent and nature of uranium and radium depletion and/or enrichment in soil horizons, as a function of climate and other factors affecting soil character; evaluate the relation of radon emanation coefficient to soil type, soil properties, soil-forming factors and radon levels in soil gas; and evaluate the relation of fragipans, soil mixture and soil permeability to radon concentration and radon flux in soil profiles. During the first year of this project, five soil profiles in central Pennsylvania (3 over limestone/dolomite, 2 over sandstone) were sampled and described and a variety of analysis, including radium and uranium, conducted on the samples, as summarized on table 1. The radon content of soil gas through the profiles was measured at approximately two week intervals throughout the year, so that we now have essentially a year of data. Cores were collected from four soil profiles at a variety of depths and the permeability, diffusion coefficient and emanation coefficient are being measured over a range of moisture contents and temperatures. Selective chemical extractions were used to determine the form of radium and uranium in the soil. 7 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1988},
month = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1988}
}

Technical Report:
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  • Objectives of this research include: (1) To determine the processes that cause large seasonal and short-term changes in the radon (Rn) content of soil gases, and to develop methods of predicting and modeling these variations; (2) to evaluate the relation of Rn emanation coefficients to form of radium (Ra) and other U-series decay products, particularly the role of Ra in organic matter and Fe-oxides; (3) to evaluate the conditions in which convection of gas in soil and bedrock may affect soil gas radon availability in houses; and, (4) to collaborate with other DOE researchers on evaluation of Rn flux intomore » houses, using our well characterized soil sites.« less
  • This report discusses progress from March 1987--June 1990. Objectives of this project are to: evaluate the extent and nature of uranium and radium depletion and/or enrichment in soil horizons as a function of climate and other factors affecting soil character; evaluate the relation of radon emanation coefficient to soil type, soil properties, soil-forming factors, and radon levels in soil gas; and evaluate the relations of fragipans, soil moisture and soil permeability to radon concentration and radon flux in soil profiles. The approach has been to investigate in detail 13 soil profiles selected to represent distinct differences in parent material (limestone,more » sandstone, shale, granite), major soil groups (Alfisols, Ultisol, Inceptisol, Mollisol, Spodosol), and moisture regimes (well-drained to somewhat poorly drained with fragipan). The 13 profiles investigated in the past 3 years are in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, Illinois, and represent highly varied soil types. Samples from five profiles in Georgia have also been analyzed in less detail. A combination of pedologic, geochemical and radiometric methods have been applied to understanding radon at these sites. 12 refs., 14 figs., 5 tabs.« less
  • Objectives of this research include: (1) To determine the processes that cause large seasonal and short-term changes in the radon (Rn) content of soil gases, and to develop methods of predicting and modeling these variations; (2) to evaluate the relation of Rn emanation coefficients to form of radium (Ra) and other U-series decay products, particularly the role of Ra in organic matter and Fe-oxides; (3) to evaluate the conditions in which convection of gas in soil and bedrock may affect soil gas radon availability in houses; and, (4) to collaborate with other DOE researchers on evaluation of Rn flux intomore » houses, using our well characterized soil sites.« less
  • This study has confirmed large seasonal and daily variations of Rn in soil gas, developed models for the effects of temperature and moisture on air-water Rn partition, inhibited Rn diffusion from wet soil into sparse large air-filled pores and effects of diffusion into bedrock, demonstrated that organic matter is a major host for 226Ra in soils and that organic-bound Ra largely determines the proportion of 222Rn emanated to pore space, shown that in contrast 220Rn is emanated mainly from 224Ra in Fe-oxides, detected significant disequilibrium between 226Ra and 238U in organic matter and in some recent glacial soils, demonstrated bymore » computer models that air convection driven by temperature differences is expected in moderately permeable soils on hillsides.« less
  • This research generation and mobility of radon in soil evaluates the extent and nature of uranium and radium depletion and/or enrichment in soil horizons as a function of climate and other factors affecting soil character; evaluates the relation of radon emanation coefficient to soil type, soil properties, soil-forming factors, and radon levels in soil gas; and evaluate the relations of fragipans, soil moisture and soil permeability to radon concentration and radon flux in soil profiles. The approach has been to investigate in detail 13 soil profiles selected to represent distinct differences in parent material (limestone, sandstone, shale, granite), major soilmore » groups (Alfisols, Ultisol, Inceptisol, Mollisol, Spodosol), and moisture regimes (well-drained to somewhat poorly drained with fragipan). The nine profiles investigated in the first 2 years are in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Four profiles currently being sampled are in New York, Tennessee, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Samples from five profiles in Georgia have also been analyzed in less detail. A combination of pedologic, geochemical and radiometric methods have been applied to understanding radon at these sites (Table 2). An important feature of the project has been the collaboration of a geochemist, a soil scientist and a nuclear engineer as Co-PI's. 4 refs., 12 figs., 4 tabs.« less