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Authors: Ciotoli, Giancarlo* 
Voltaggio, M.* 
Tuccimei, P.* 
Soligo, M.* 
Pasculli, A.* 
Beaubien, S. E.* 
Bigi, S.* 
Title: Geographically weighted regression and geostatistical techniques to construct the geogenic radon potential map of the Lazio region: A methodological proposal for the European Atlas of Natural Radiation
Journal: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 
Series/Report no.: /166 (2017)
Issue Date: Jan-2017
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.05.010
Abstract: In many countries, assessment programmes are carried out to identify areas where people may be exposed to high radon levels. These programmes often involve detailed mapping, followed by spatial interpolation and extrapolation of the results based on the correlation of indoor radon values with other parameters (e.g., lithology, permeability and airborne total gamma radiation) to optimise the radon hazard maps at the municipal and/or regional scale. In the present work, Geographical Weighted Regression and geostatistics are used to estimate the Geogenic Radon Potential (GRP) of the Lazio Region, assuming that the radon risk only depends on the geological and environmental characteristics of the study area. A wide geodatabase has been organised including about 8000 samples of soil-gas radon, as well as other proxy variables, such as radium and uranium content of homogeneous geological units, rock permeability, and faults and topography often associated with radon production/migration in the shallow environment. All these data have been processed in a Geographic Information System (GIS) using geospatial analysis and geostatistics to produce base thematic maps in a 1000 m × 1000 m grid format. Global Ordinary Least Squared (OLS) regression and local Geographical Weighted Regression (GWR) have been applied and compared assuming that the relationships between radon activities and the environmental variables are not spatially stationary, but vary locally according to the GRP. The spatial regression model has been elaborated considering soil-gas radon concentrations as the response variable and developing proxy variables as predictors through the use of a training dataset. Then a validation procedure was used to predict soil-gas radon values using a test dataset. Finally, the predicted values were interpolated using the kriging algorithm to obtain the GRP map of the Lazio region. The map shows some high GRP areas corresponding to the volcanic terrains (central-northern sector of Lazio region) and to faulted and fractured carbonate rocks (central-southern and eastern sectors of the Lazio region). This typical local variability of autocorrelated phenomena can only be taken into account by using local methods for spatial data analysis. The constructed GRP map can be a useful tool to implement radon policies at both the national and local levels, providing critical data for land use and planning purposes.
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