Inter-comparison of different direct and indirect methods to determine radon flux from soil
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The physical and chemical characteristics of radon gas make it a good tracer for use in the application of atmospheric transport models. For this purpose the radon source needs to be known on a global scale and this is difficult to achieve by only direct experimental methods. However, indirect methods can provide radon flux maps on larger scales, but their reliability has to be carefully checked. It is the aim of this work to compare radon flux values obtained by direct and indirect methods in a measurement campaign performed in the summer of 2008. Different systems to directly measure radon flux from the soil surface and to measure the related parameters terrestrial g dose and 226Ra activity in soil, for indirect estimation of radon flux, were tested. Four eastern Spanish sites with different geological and soil characteristics were selected: Teruel, Los Pedrones, Quintanar de la Orden and Madrid. The study shows the usefulness of both direct and indirect methods for obtaining radon flux data. Direct radon flux measurements by continuous and integrated monitors showed a coefficient of variation between 10% and 23%. At the same time, indirect methods based on correlations between 222Rn and terrestrial g dose rate, or 226Ra activity in soil, provided results similar to the direct measurements, when these proxies were directly measured at the site. Larger discrepancies were found when proxy values were extracted from existing data bases. The participating members involved in the campaign study were the Institute of Energy Technology (INTE) of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Huelva University (UHU), and Basel University (BASEL).
CitationGrossi, C. [et al.]. Inter-comparison of different direct and indirect methods to determine radon flux from soil. "Radiation measurements", Gener 2011, vol. 46, núm. 1, p. 112-118.