Natural radioactivity is ubiquitous in the environment as a result of i) cosmic radiation from space and secondary radiation from the interaction of cosmic rays with the atmosphere, ii) terrestrial sources from soils and rocks and particularly Potassium (K-40), Uranium (U-238) and Thorium (Th-232) and their decay products among which Radon gas (Rn-222) stands out. An additional contribution to the environmental radioactivity comes from the fallout of artificial radionuclides (e.g. Cs-137, Cs-134) from nuclear and radiation accidents and incidents.
Nuclear techniques enable the measurement of radioactivity in air, soils and water even at trace levels, making it a particularly appealing tool for tracing time-varying environmental phenomena. This session welcomes contributions addressing the measurement and exploitation of environmental radioactivity in all areas of geosciences, including, but not limited to:
- volcanic monitoring and surveillance;
- identification of faults and tectonic structures;
- mineral exploration;
- coastal and marine monitoring;
- soil erosion processes;
- Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMs) and Taylor-made building materials;
- geostatistical methods for radioactivity mapping;
- atmospheric tracing, mixing and transport processes;
- Radon Eurocode and indoor air quality monitoring
- cosmic rays;
-fingerprinting approaches of natural waters (e.g. groundwater resources for mineral and drinking water)
- public health linked to the EU BSS and Euratom directives.
Contributions on novel methods and instrumentation for environmental radioactivity monitoring are particularly encouraged, including payloads for airborne measurements, drones and small satellites.
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