Radioactivity of Mt. Etna volcano rocks and radionuclides transfer to groundwater at Mt. Etna volcano

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


The paper presents the results of a radiometric survey carried out on the eastern ank of Mt. Etna over an area of approximately 120 km2. Activity concentrations of 238,234U, 232,230,228Th, 226,228Ra, from 238U and 232Th decay chains, and potassium 40K were determined using α- and γ- spectrometry techniques. All rock samples presented activity concentrations of U, Th and Ra isotopes ranging from 20 Bq kg-1 to about 90 Bq kg-1, and they showed no particular compositional variations over the investigated area. Based on their respective elemental concen- trations, the isotopic ratios of different elements were studied to check the presence of radioactive equilibrium, or disequilibrium, in the decay chains. Moreover, an attempt to calculate radionuclide transfer factors from soil to water was made, and the radiological risk resulting from ingestion of these isotopes contained in drinking water was calculated. The results were compared with current regulations on the quality of drinking water


Mt.Etna; volcanic rocks; radioactive isotopes; radiological risk

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X