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Authors: D'Alessandro, W.* 
Vita, F.* 
Title: Groundwater radon measurements in the Mt. Etna area
Issue Date: 2003
Series/Report no.: 65(2003)
DOI: 10.1016/S0265-931X(02)00096-6
Keywords: Groundwater
Mount Etna
Active volcanic areas
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.02. Hydrology::03.02.03. Groundwater processes 
03. Hydrosphere::03.02. Hydrology::03.02.06. Water resources 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.03. Chemistry of waters 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.07. Radioactivity and isotopes 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.01. Environmental risk 
Abstract: Radon levels were measured in 119 groundwater samples collected throughout the active volcanic area of Mt. Etna by means of a portable Lucas-type scintillation chamber. The measured activity values range from 1.8 to 52.7 Bq l 1. About 40% of the samples exceed the maximum contaminant level of 11 Bq l 1 proposed by the USEPA in 1991. The highest radon levels are measured in the eastern sector of the volcano, which is the seismically most active zone of the volcano. On the contrary the south-western sector, which is both seismically active and a site of intense magmatic degassing, display lower radon levels. This is probably due to the formation of a free gas phase (oversaturation of CO2) that strips the radon from the water. Comparison of the data gathered at Mt. Etna with those of other areas indicates that 222Rn activity in groundwater is positively correlated with both the content of parent elements in the aquifer rocks and the temperature of the geothermal systems that interacts with the sampled aquifers.
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