Revista mexicana de física
Print version ISSN 0035-001X
RENTERIA VILLALOBOS, M et al. Characterization of source rocks and groundwater radioactivity at the Chihuahua valley. Rev. mex. fis. [online]. 2007, vol.53, suppl.3, pp. 16-22. ISSN 0035-001X.
As part of a scientific research project about alpha radioactivity in groundwater for human consumption at the Chihuahua City, the characterization of rock sources of radioactivity around de Chihuahua valley was developed. The radioactivity of groundwater and sediments was determined, too. The radioactivity of uranium- and thorium- series isotopes contained in rocks was obtained by high resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy. Some representative values are 50 Bq/kg for the mean value of Bi-214 activity, and 121.5 Bq/kg for the highest value at West of the city. The activity of sediments, extracted during wells perforation, was determined using a NaI(Tl) detector. A non-reported before uranium ore was localized at the San Marcos range formation. Its outcrops are inside the Chihuahua-Sacramento valley basin and its activity characterization was performed. Unusually high specific uranium activities, determined by alpha spectrometry, were obtained in water, plants, sediments and fish extracted at locations close to outcrops of uranium minerals. The activity of water of the San Marcos dam reached 7.7 Bq/L. The activity offish, trapped at San Marcos dam, is 0.99 Bq/kg. Conclusions about the contamination of groundwater at North of Chihuahua City were obtained.
Keywords : Radioactivity; groundwater; uranium-series disequilibrium; gamma-ray spectrometry; alpha-ray spectrometry.