Estimation of soil gas permeability for assessing radon risk using Rosetta pedotransfer function based on soil texture and water content

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Title: Estimation of soil gas permeability for assessing radon risk using Rosetta pedotransfer function based on soil texture and water content
Authors: Benavente, David | Valdes-Abellan, Javier | Pla, Concepción | Sanz-Rubio, Enrique
Research Group/s: Petrología Aplicada | Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental (INGHA)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra y del Medio Ambiente | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ingeniería Civil
Keywords: Radon risk | Soil properties | Gas permeability | Rosetta | Soil water content
Knowledge Area: Petrología y Geoquímica | Ingeniería Hidráulica
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. 2019, 208-209: 105992. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2019.105992
Abstract: Radon is a natural source of radioactivity and it can be found in all soils and rocks in the Earth. The presence of radon gas in indoor environments implies a serious risk for human health, already listed as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. The most relevant methods to infer the risk for radon exposure are based on soil radon concentration and gas permeability that describe the effective radon movement in the soil. However, they neglect crucial soil properties and water content in soil, which can affect greatly soil permeability to gases. Additionally, soil permeability measurement remains expensive, difficult and time-consuming. In this paper we show a new and simple methodology to infer radon risk based on Rosetta3 pedotransfer function as well as soil texture and water content. We also determine the influence of soil texture both on the gas permeability variation in dependence on water content and on the parameter n of the van Genuchten –Mualem model, which establishes the shape of the relative permeability curves. We show that radon risk exposure may change importantly for the same soil with different soil water contents. We finally apply and validate the proposed method using radon permeability data from the Canadian component of the North American Soil Geochemical Landscapes Project (NASGLP). Results highlight that the proposed methodology provides reliable estimations of the gas permeability and reveal that the presence of water content may cross the boundary between two radon risk categories, and consequently, may change the radon risk category to safer situations.
Sponsor: This work was supported by the Spanish Government [grant number RTI2018-099052-B-I00] and the University of Alicante [grant number GRE17-12].
ISSN: 0265-931X (Print) | 1879-1700 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2019.105992
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - IngHA - Artículos de Revistas
INV - PETRA - Artículos de Revistas

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