IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 15910: Detailed Geogenic Radon Potential Mapping Using Geospatial Analysis of Multiple Geo-Variables—A Case Study from a High-Risk Area in SE Ireland (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
A detailed investigation of geogenic radon potential (GRP) was carried out near Graiguenamanagh town (County Kilkenny, Ireland) by performing a spatial regression analysis on radon-related variables to evaluate the exposure of people to natural radiation (i.e., radon, thoron and gamma radiation). The study area includes an offshoot of the Caledonian Leinster Granite, which is locally intruded into Ordovician metasediments. To model radon release potential at different points, an ordinary least squared (OLS) regression model was developed in which soil gas radon (SGR) concentrations were considered as the response value. Proxy variables such as radionuclide concentrations obtained from airborne radiometric surveys, soil gas permeability, distance from major faults and a digital terrain model were used as the input predictors. ArcGIS and QGIS software together with XLSTAT statistical software were used to visualise, analyse and validate the data and models. The proposed GRP models were validated through diagnostic tests. Empirical Bayesian kriging (EBK) was used to produce the map of the spatial distribution of predicted GRP values and to estimate the prediction uncertainty. The methodology described here can be extended for larger areas and the models could be utilised to estimate the GRPs of other areas where radon-related proxy values are available.