Mineralogy-induced radiological aspects with characterization of commercial granites exploited in Turkey

Angi O. S., Yavuz Ö., YALÇIN T., Çiftçi E.

BULLETIN OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, vol.76, no.2, pp.507-522, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


This study deals with natural radioactivity levels of the ten most important commercial granites from various districts currently being exploited as dimension stone in Turkey. Determining the level of radioactivity is important for human health, particularly for indoor use of granites. This study shows that the relationship between the natural radioactivity and the radiogenic mineralogical contents of the granites exploited for commercial utilization in Turkey is variable. The natural radioactivity levels (i.e., activity concentrations of radionuclides Ra-226, Th-232, and K-40) of granite samples were determined by high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry. Using these activities, radiological hazard dose rates (absorbed and annual effective) and gamma-activity indexes were calculated using standard equations accepted by public health bodies, taking relevant international reports and guidelines into account. Three of the granites exploited in the Black Sea, Aegean, and Central Anatolia regions were found to be high in radium-equivalent activities and annual effective doses due to minerals bearing the radionuclides, including zircon, apatite, allanite, xenotime, uranothorite, K-feldspars, and biotite. Of those, uranothorite contains large amounts of radionuclides and is present in samples of granites collected from the Black Sea and Aegean regions. Radioactivity measurements using high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy serve as a rapid screening tool to evaluate natural radioactivity, whereas detailed petrographic, mineralogical, and elemental investigations can reveal the source of radioactive emissions in granites.