Differences of natural radioactivity and radon emanation fraction among constituent minerals of rock or soil

Akihiro Sakoda, Yuichi Nishiyama, Katsumi Hanamoto, Yuu Ishimori, Yuki Yamamoto, Takahiro Kataoka, Atsushi Kawabe, Kiyonori Yamaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


We examined differences in the radioactive characteristics among the main minerals forming granite materials. Using a non-toxic high-density agent, minerals were separated from rock (granite-gneiss) and soil (weathered granite) samples. The natural radioactivity (238U and 226Ra) and radon emanation fraction of the minerals were then studied by gamma-ray spectrometry. The radon emanation fractions (27-43%) of the minerals from the soil were much higher than those (0.6-4.6%) of the rock minerals. Additionally, the emanation fractions differed greatly among the minerals separated from both the bulk rock and soil. These results were discussed in terms of the differences of surface area and radium distribution in the mineral grains. It was noticeable that a higher emanation fraction than expected for quartz was commonly observed in the rock and soil samples. We then estimated the contribution of each constituent mineral to the total radon exhalation from the bulk samples. The result depended not only on the radon emanation fraction, but also on the 226Ra activity and the mineral content. Furthermore, using the obtained data, we also discussed the effect of grain size on radon emanation and why this has been reported to vary markedly in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1184
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Heavy liquid separation
  • Mineral
  • Ra
  • Radon emanation fraction
  • Rock
  • Soil
  • Specific surface area
  • U

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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