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Distance to faults as a proxy for radon gas concentration in dwellings.

Drolet, Jean-Philippe; Martel, Richard (2016). Distance to faults as a proxy for radon gas concentration in dwellings. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity , vol. 152 . p. 8-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.10.023.

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Résumé

This research was done to demonstrate the usefulness of the local structural geology characteristics to predict indoor radon concentrations. The presence of geologic faults near dwellings increases the vulnerability of the dwellings to elevated indoor radon by providing favorable pathways from the source uranium-rich bedrock units to the surface. Kruskal–Wallis one-way analyses of variance by ranks were used to determine the distance where faults have statistically significant influence on indoor radon concentrations. The great-circle distance between the 640 spatially referenced basement radon concentration measurements and the nearest fault was calculated using the Haversine formula and the spherical law of cosines. It was shown that dwellings located less than 150 m from a major fault had a higher radon potential. The 150 m threshold was determined using Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA on: (1) all the basement radon measurements dataset and; (2) the basement radon measurements located on uranium-rich bedrock units only. The results indicated that 22.8% of the dwellings located less than 150 m from a fault exceeded the Canadian radon guideline of 200 Bq/m3 when using all the basement radon measurements dataset. This percentage fell to 15.2% for the dwellings located between 150 m and 700 m from a fault. When using only the basement radon measurements located on uranium-rich bedrock units, these percentages were 30.7% (0–150 m) and 17.5% (150 m–700 m). The assessment and management of risk can be improved where structural geology characteristics base maps are available by using this proxy indicator.

Type de document:
Mots-clés libres: radon potential; fault; geology; ANOVA; sediment; uranium
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 20 déc. 2016 15:58
Dernière modification: 20 déc. 2016 15:58
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/3971

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