[ RadSafe ] Fwd: Alleged rise in atmospheric ionising radiation

Dan McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 12:59:23 CDT 2015

Hi Chris:

Not brilliant - all geologists are on the high-end of the spectrum that
way! [?]

Please note that this is my unpublished hypothesis regarding the Piceance
Basin. The oil shale accumulated in a saline lake environment from very
large quantities of algae. Algae need, among other things, a bit of iron or
molybdenum to form a nitrogenase metalo-enzymes which contain iron,
molybdenum, or vanadium. for nitrogen fixation from the atmosphere. The
best way to obtain that is from wind-blown soils that have already
accumulated the material.

The second line of argument relates to mass-balance. The annual varves of
oil shale deposition amount to a fraction of a millimeter, about the amount
that could be introduced uniformly by dust in the form of platy clay-like
minerals formed in soils. These minerals can adsorb / desorb nutrients
along with other things like radium. I would expect the uranium to migrate
deeper in the soil column and not be subject to soil deflation (removal by
wind as dust). Thus there should be significant dis-equilibrium between
uranium and radium.

Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home – New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com

On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 10:02 AM, Chris Alston <achris1999 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dan
> 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?
> Cheers
> cja
> 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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