Radon As A Geochemical Exploration Tool

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Journal Article: Radon As A Geochemical Exploration Tool

Radon (Rn-222) is a unique element in the radioactive decay chain of U that has properties quite different from the other isotopes. Because Rn is radioactive, it can be detected at extremely low concentrations and this provides the basis for a very sensitive geochemical method. Radon has proven useful in exploring for not only U but for other associated elements. It has also been used successfully in exploring for geothermal sources, in earthquake prediction and in many other applications. With wider use of Rn as a geochemical tool in recent times has come a better understanding of the factors influencing its release, movement and detection. Studies of Rn emanation from a wide variety of U- and Ra-containing minerals have shown the effects of water content and other chemical and physical factors on the emanation rates. Published results from field research on Rn movement and experience with Rn as an exploration tool for uranium exploration have resulted in new data about the movement of Rn and its precursors in typical field situations. A number of new techniques for making integrated Rn measurements have been developed, and some appear to have some distinct advantages over the older grab sampling methods. This paper will discuss some of the more recent developments of Rn as a geochemical exploration tool and present new data on the numerous applications now utilizing Rn.

James E. Gingrich

Published Journal 
Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 1984



James E. Gingrich. 1984. Radon As A Geochemical Exploration Tool. Journal of Geochemical Exploration. (!) .