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Investigations of Radon and Radon Daughters in Surficial Aquifers of Florida



The principal purpose of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that radon soil flux, considered the principal source of indoor radon contamination, has an underlying relationship to the radon content of associated shallow groundwaters. The working hypothesis was that radon build-up in both soil and shallow groundwater is basically a consequence of the same factor, radon emanation from soil grains and the solid surfaces of the aquifers. Groundwater may be advantageous as an indicator of radon potential. Another object of the project was to investigate temporal and spatial trends of radon daughter products in shallow aquifers.

After analyzing all of the radon soil, flux, and groundwater measurements made over the two-year study period, it is clear that while there is no direct relationship between either radon soil concentration or flux and groundwater radon, there are reasons to consider radon in shallow groundwater as a viable indicator of the radon potential of an undeveloped area.

Measurements in wells where polonium is present at very high concentrations have shown that 210Po is largely unsupported by its radioactive predecessor, and that polonium is considerably more variable, in both space and time than other parameters measured in the same wells, including radon.