Gamma Ray Logging as a New Approach for In-situ Measurement of Radionuclide Concentrations and Determination of Groundwater Contamination
Analysis of in-situ activity concentrations of natural radionuclides in a groundwater borehole measured using the geophysical Gamma Ray (GR) log has been carried out in this study as a new approach in the determination of groundwater contamination. The measurement was carried out in the Niger Delta of Nigeria as our study area. The use of the in-situ borehole GR logging as a new approach attracts a fresh attention and opens another phase when compared with the conventional method of groundwater sample collection and testing in the laboratory. This new GR logging method eliminates any risk associated with the exposure of such samples to other sources of radiation other than the geologic source. The data available from the GR log covers a depth range of between 35m and 108m, through which three distinct geologic formations namely the gravelly sand, clayey shale and deeper shale zones were identified. From the log measurements, the contamination of the groundwater was investigated by the analysis of the lithology radionuclide concentration levels and comparison with the world permissible limits. The results obtained show that the gravelly sand water aquifer has a minimum GR value of 16.5 API, maximum value of 25.4 API, and mean value of 20.4 API. The minimum value of the in-situ concentration is 2.05ppm, maximum value is 3.15ppm and mean value is 2.53 ppm. This is equal to a minimum value of 2.05 x 10-9μg/kg, maximum value of 3.15 x 10-9μg/kg and mean value of 2.53 x 10-9μg/kg. The aquifer lithologyis further characterized by in-situ activity concentration of minimum value of 25.32Bq/kg, maximum value of 38.90 Bq/kg, and a mean value of 31.25 Bq/kg. These values represent the uranium equivalence of the natural radionuclides in the borehole and are clearly below the world permissible limits recommended for water quality. The values also compare well with the values reported in the literature for the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
In-situ, Gamma, Ray, Log, Borehole, Groundwater, Radionuclides
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