Baranwal, V.C., Sharma, S.P., Sengupta, D., Shandilya, M.K., Bhuamik, B.K., Guin, R. and Saha, S.K.
A new high background radiation area in Geothermal region of Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt (EGMB) of Orissa, India
Radiation Measurements, 41, (5), . (doi:10.1016/j.radmeas.2006.03.002).
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A high natural radiation zone is investigated for the first time in a geothermal region of Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt (EGMB) of Orissa state in India. The surrounding area comprises a geothermal region which has surveyed using a portable pulsed Geiger–Muller counter. On the basis of findings of GM counter, an area was marked as a high radiation zone. Soil and rock samples collected from the high radiation zone were analyzed by ?-ray spectrometry (GRS) using NaI(Tl) detector. The radioactivity is found to be contributed mainly by thorium. Concentration of thorium is reported to be very high compared to their normal abundance in crustal rocks. Further, concentrations of 238U and 40K are also high compared to normal abundance in crustal rocks but their magnitude is comparatively less than that of thorium. The average concentrations of 238U (i.e. U(?–?)), 232Th and 40K are found to be 33, 459 ppm and 3%, respectively, in soils and 312, 1723 ppm and 5%, respectively, in the granitic rocks. Maximum concentrations of 238U, 232Th and 40K are found to be 95, 1194 ppm and 4%, respectively, in soils and 1434, 10,590 ppm and 8%, respectively, in the granitic rocks.
Radioactive element emits various energies in its decay chain. High energies are utilized to estimate the concentration of actual 238U, 232Th and 40K using a NaI(Tl) detector, however, low energies are used for the same in an HPGe detector. Some of the rock samples (eight in number) were also analyzed using HPGe detector for studying the behavior of low energies emitted in the decay series of uranium and thorium. The absorbed gamma dose rate in air and external annual dose rate of the high radiation zone are calculated to be 2431 nGy/h and 3.0 mSv/y, respectively. It is approximately 10 times greater than the dose rates obtained outside the high radiation zone. The high concentration of uranium and thorium may be one of the possible heat sources together with the normal geothermal gradient for hot springs present in the region.
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