Measurement of Radioelements (U, Th and K) Concentration Using Ground Radiometric and Statistical Studies at Gaya North-Western Nigeria.

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VIII, Issue IX, September 2021 | ISSN 2321–2705

Measurement of Radioelements (U, Th and K) Concentration Using Ground Radiometric and Statistical Studies at Gaya North-Western Nigeria.

Ahmed, A. L., Abubakar, W. M. and Abubakar, A.
Department of Physics, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

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Abstract
Detailed ground radiometric survey was conducted at Gaya North Western Nigeria to characterize the radioelement potential in the region as reported in airborne spectrometric map produced by Hunting Geology and Geophysics LTD (1975). Compact Spectrometer Gamma Surveyor was used to measured radioelements along twenty one profiles 1 km each. The measurement time was set at 5 minutes for sensing the concentration of Uranium, Thorium and Potassium. The research result gave mean concentration of the radioelement U, Th, K as 17.527 ppm, 56.09 ppm and 4.1092 % respectively in the order of (Th>U>K), absorbed dose rate values ranging from 33.45 nGyph-1 to 676.49 nGyph-1 with average value of 48.3 nGyph-1 which is lower than the world average value. Research successfully revealed Uranium and Thorium are most enriched in the youngest, most felsic and most potassic members of igneous rocks which is a good indicator for magmatic to post-magmatic alteration processes.

Keywords: Gamma Surveyor, Radiometric, Radioelement, Dose rate

Introduction

The radiometric method is a geophysical technique used to estimate concentrations of the radioelements potassium, uranium and thorium by measuring the gamma-rays which the radioactive isotopes of these elements emit during radioactive decay. Radiometric investigations are being successfully employed in recent years, in addition to the usual prospecting for radioactive minerals, to solve some of geological problems, such as tracing of tectonic zones, mapping of different geological formations and locating mineralized zones (Preeti et al, 2013) At least 20 naturally occurring elements are now known to be radioactive, uranium (U), thorium (Th) and an isotope of potassium (K) are of importance in exploration. The two elements, uranium and thorium are important today as a source of fuel for the generation of heat and power in nuclear reactors (Telford et al., 1990).
All rocks and soils contain radioactive isotopes, and almost all the gamma-rays detected near the earth’s surface is the result of the natural radioactive decay of potassium, uranium and thorium. The gamma-rays are packets of electromagnetic radiation characterised by their high frequency and energy. They are quite penetrating, and can travel about 35 centimetres through rock and several hundred metres through the air. Each gamma ray has a characteristic