Natural radioactivity content in groundwater of Mt. Etna’s eastern flank and gamma background of surrounding rocks.

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Beata Kozłowska
Agata Walencik-Łata
Giuseppina Immè
Roberto Catalano
Gabriella Mangano
Daniela Morelli
Salvatore Giammanco


Waters of Mt. Etna are the main source of drinking water for the local population and are also distributed in municipal supply systems to neighbouring areas. Radioactivity in underground waters and surrounding rocks from the eastern flank of Mt.Etnawas investigated on the basis of 9 water and 8 rocks samples from 12 localities altogether. Three samples were from water drainage galleries and six from water wells. All water intakes are used for consumption. Activity concentration of uranium isotopes 234,238U, radium isotopes 226,228Ra and radon 222Rn were determined with the use different nuclear spectrometry techniques. The determination of uranium isotopes was carried out with the use of alpha spectrometry. The measurements of radium and radon activity concentration in water were performed with the use of a liquid scintillation technique. Additionally, rocks surrounding the intakes were examined with gamma spectrometry. All water samples showed uranium concentration above Minimum Detectable Activity (MDA), with the highest total uranium (234U + 238U) activity concentration equal to 149.2±6 mBq/L. Conversely, all samples showed radium isotopes activity concentrations below MDA. Radon activity concentration was within the range from 2.91±0.36 to 21.21±1.10 Bq/L, hence these waters can be classified as low – radon waters. Gamma natural background of the rocks surrounding the water sampling sites was found on the same levels as other volcanic rocks of Italy.

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How to Cite
Kozłowska, B., Walencik-Łata, A., Immè, G., Catalano, R., Mangano, G., Morelli, D. and Giammanco, S. (2016) “ Etna’s eastern flank and gamma background of surrounding rocks”., Annals of Geophysics, 59(1), p. S0103. doi: 10.4401/ag-6799.

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