Gamma-spectrometric measurement of radioactivity in agricultural soils of the Lombardia region, northern Italy.

Laura Guidotti, Franca Carini, Riccardo Rossi, Marina Gatti, Roberto M. Cenci, Gian Maria Beone

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

25 Citazioni (Scopus)


This work is part of a wider monitoring project of the agricultural soils in Lombardia, which aims to build a database of topsoil properties and the potentially toxic elements, organic pollutants and gamma emitting radionuclides that the topsoils contain. A total of 156 agricultural soils were sampled according to the LUCAS (Land Use/Cover Area frame statistical Survey) standard procedure. The aim was to provide a baseline to document the conditions present at the time of sampling. The results of the project con- cerning soil radioactivity are presented here. The aim was to assess the content of 238U, 232Th, 137Cs and 40K by measuring soil samples by gamma spectrometry. 238U, 232Th and 40K activities range 24e231, 20e70, and 242e1434 Bq kg!1 respectively. The geographic distribution of 238U reflects the geophysical framework of the Lombardia region: the soils with high content of uranium are distributed for the most part in the South Alpine belt, where the presence of magmatic rocks is widespread. These soils show an higher activity of 238U than of 232Th. The 238U activities become lower than 232Th when soils are located in the plain, originating from basic sedimentary rocks. 137Cs activity ranges 0.4e86.8 kBq m!2. The lowest activity of 137Cs is in the plain, whereas the highest is in the North on soils kept as lawn or pasture. The 137Cs activity of some samples suggests the presence of accumulation processes that lead to 137Cs enriched soils. This is the first survey of gamma emitting radionuclides in Lombardia that is based on the LUCAS standard sampling. The results from this monitoring campaign are important for the human radiation exposure and provide the zero point, which will be useful for assessing future effects due to external factors such as human activities.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)36-44
Numero di pagine9
RivistaJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2015


  • soil


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