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High Rn-222 concentrations and dynamics in Shawan Cave, southwest China TEXT SIZE: A A A
Cave Rn-222 has been a major health issue and subject of scientific debate for decades. While the basics of natural ventilation physics are well understood, it is difficult to make blind predictions of Rn-222 concentrations in a given cave due to the complexity of cave systems. In-situ continuous observation is necessary to improve our ability to quantify radiation dose exposure and reduce radiation hazard to cave users, and trace the air exchange patterns occurring in caves. In this study, continuous monitoring using a RAD7 radon detector revealed high Rn-222 concentrations and large fluctuations in Rn-222 concentration in a small karst cave in southwest China, Shawan Cave. From August 2016 to July 2017, the average annual concentration was 47,419 Bqm(-3) and ranged between 3720 and 123,000 Bqm(-3), with lower values during summer than other seasons. Taking Shawan Cave as a case study, we suggest a framework to evaluate the potential dose exposure, allowing cave users to minimize risk of exposure to hazardous levels of Rn-222. Furthermore, we comparing results from this study with other studies in 35 caves worldwide, and conclude that there are three patterns of seasonal Rn-222 variation. They were classified into five types of ventilation mode based on diversity of cave locations, geometry and connectivity of bed rock fracture networks, together with temperature differences between outside atmosphere and cave air.

Publication name

 JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIOACTIVITY, 199 16-24; 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.12.029 APR 2019


 Wang, Yanwei; Luo, Weijun; Zeng, Guangneng; Wang, Yang; Yang, Hanling; Wang, Meifang; Zhang, Lin; Cai, Xianli; Chen, Jia; Cheng, Anyun; Wang,Shijie

Corresponding author(s) 

 LUO Weijun 
 -Chinese Acad Sci, State Key Lab Environm Geochem, Inst Geochem, Guiyang 550081, Guizhou, Peoples R China
 -Chinese Acad Sci, Puding Karst Ecosyst Res Stn, Puding 562100, Peoples R China

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