Date of Award

5-7-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Jeremy Diem

Second Advisor

Dajun Dai

Third Advisor

Lawrence Kiage

Abstract

Radon is a radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. While radon is natural and ubiquitous, higher concentrations greatly increase cancer risk. As such, understanding the spatial distribution of radon potential is key to planning and public health efforts. This project tests a method of determining radon potential using in situ measurements of gamma radiation. The in situ measurements were used to create a raster of gamma emissions in the study region using kriging. The resulting model showed that the operational scale of gamma radiation in the study region was 4.5 km. Indoor radon concentrations were then assigned gamma emission rates from the raster and the two were compared. While there was evidence of an association between higher gamma and high radon, the gamma readings were not quantitatively predictive. As such only categorical predictions of radon potential and risk could be made.

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