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Gamma ray attenuation in the soils of Northern Ireland, with special reference to peat

Beamish, David. 2013 Gamma ray attenuation in the soils of Northern Ireland, with special reference to peat. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 115. 13-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2012.05.031

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Abstract/Summary

This study considers gamma ray attenuation in relation to the soils and bedrock of Northern Ireland using simple theory and data from a high resolution airborne survey. The bedrock is considered as a source of radiogenic material acting as parent to the soil. Attenuation in the near-surface is then controlled by water content in conjunction with the porosity and density of the soil cover. The Total Count radiometric data together with 1:250 k mapping of the soils and bedrock of Northern Ireland are used to perform statistical analyses emphasising the nature of the low count behaviour. Estimations of the bedrock response characteristics are improved by excluding areas covered by low count soils (organic/humic). Equally, estimations of soil response characteristics are improved by excluding areas underlain by low count bedrock (basalt). When the spatial characteristics of the soil-classified data are examined in detail, the low values form spatially-coherent zones (natural clusters) that can potentially be interpreted as areas of increased water content for each soil type. As predicted by theory, the highest attenuation factors are associated with the three organic soil types studied here. Peat, in particular, is remarkably skewed to low count behaviour in its radiometric response. Two detailed studies of blanket bogs reveal the extent to which peat may be mapped by its radiometric response while the intra-peat variations in the observed response may indicate areas of thin cover together with areas of increased water content.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2012.05.031
ISSN: 0265931X
Date made live: 11 Mar 2013 10:23 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/500308

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