Title: Mapping uranium concentration in soil: Belgian experience towards a European map
Authors: CINELLI GIORGIATONDEUR FrançoisDEHANDSCHUTTER BorisBOSSEW PeterTOLLEFSEN ToreDE CORT Marc
Citation: JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY vol. 166 p. 220-234
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC98530
ISSN: 0265-931X
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC98530
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.04.026
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A map of uranium concentration in soil has been planned for the European Atlas of Natural Radiation. This Atlas is being developed by the Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring (REM) group of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. The great interest in uranium compared to other terrestrial radionuclides stems from the fact that radon (222Rn) is in the decay chain of uranium (238U) and that public exposure to natural ionizing radiation is largely due to indoor radon. With several different databases available, including data (albeit not calibrated) from an airborne survey, Belgium is a favourable case for exploring the methodology of uranium mapping. A harmonized database of uranium in soil was built by merging radiological (not airborne) and geochemical data. Using this harmonized database it was possible to calibrate the data from the airborne survey. Several methods were used to perform spatial interpolation and to smooth the data: moving average without constraint, by soil class and by geological unit. When using the harmonized database, it is first necessary to evaluate the uranium concentration in areas without data or with an insufficient number of data points. Overall, there is a reasonable agreement between the maps on a 1 km × 1 km grid obtained with the two datasets (airborne U and harmonized soil U) with all the methods. The agreement is better when the maps are reduced to a 10 km × 10 km grid; the latter could be used for the European map of uranium concentration in soil.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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