A rapid beta gamma coincidence technique for determination of natural radionuclides in marine deposits

Bhandari, N. ; Bhat, S. G. ; Krishnaswamy, S. ; Lal, D. (1971) A rapid beta gamma coincidence technique for determination of natural radionuclides in marine deposits Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 11 (1-5). pp. 121-126. ISSN 0012-821X

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Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0012-821X(71)90152-X


A non-destructive and specific counting technique employing β and γ detectors in coincidence is described. The application of the present system rests on the fact that several daughter nuclides of 230Th and 232Th exhibit a favourable β-γ decay allowing their high sensitivity assay. It is experimentally demonstrated that the activities due to the radionuclides 214Pb,214Bi (238U series) and 228Ac, 208Tl (232Th series) can be unambiguously identified and measured without any chemical separation. The activity ratios 214Pb/228Ac, 214Bi/228Ac and 214Bi/208Tl independently form a direct measure of 230Th/232Th in a geochemically closed system for radium isotopes. Thus, for deep sea sediments, manganese nodules, and other geochemical accumulations the present technique offers a quick and convenient method for measurement of 238U and 232Th daughter products, eliminating laborious chemical processing. In non-equilibrium systems such as sea water, after simple chemical preconcentration steps, the present method allows determination of the geochemically important activity ratio 228Ra/226Ra without introducing errors due to uncertainties in counting and chemical efficiencies. Results of measurements made using the β -γ assaying technique on a variety of marine sediments and nodules collected from the Indian and Pacific oceans and sea-water radium concentrates from the Arabian Sea are presented.

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