[ RadSafe ] Fwd: Alleged rise in atmospheric ionising radiation

Chris Alston achris1999 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 11:02:15 CDT 2015


That is well-nigh brilliant!  And it should not be forbiddingly challenging
to do the sampling to answer the question.  The only fly in the ointment
might be that one would want to do alpha spec of the samples, I should
think.  Does anyone have a Masters candidate, who's looking for a topic for
her thesis?


On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 10:53 AM, Dan McCarn <hotgreenchile at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Mike & David:
> I'd like to advance one plausible hypothesis regarding elevated levels of
> alpha radiation over California:
> Some years ago, I had the pleasure of working on the geology / geochemistry
> of the Piceance Basin in NW Colorado. As I became more knowledgeable about
> the basin, it became apparent that the depositional systems of the oil
> shale (keragenous dolomitic marlstone) were strongly influenced by dusts
> being blown off the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and the basins of
> California. In fact, much of the fertility of the Colorado Plateau has been
> attributed to dusts being entrained in the soil column originating from
> California. In the Piceance Basin, the "richness" or Leanness" of the oil
> shale zones are postulated to be caused by the changing volume of dust
> being blown into the basin and is strongly influences by climate - drier &
> wetter conditions - spanning the lifetime of the active basin. The drier
> conditions result in larger amounts of deposited dusts and thicker annual
> accumulations of oil shale; the wetter conditions provide less suspended
> dust and leaner oil shale accumulations.
> Fertile soils accumulate plant nutrients such as phosphates and other
> micronutrients. In order to grow commercially, California soils are also
> heavily artificially augmented with these nutrients. Phosphate fertilizers
> contain significant amounts of radium, uranium and other progeny in the
> uranium series. During dry periods, these enriched soils deflate in winds &
> dry conditions and are aerially suspended as fine particulates. I think
> this is why there is such a change in alpha activity since the windblown
> dusts are deriving their radiation from phosphate-enriched soils.
> This is not unique to the California basins. The Amazon appears to be
> sustained by phosphate-bearing dusts blown from Africa.
> http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100809/full/news.2010.396.html

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