Radioactivity distribution in some Permian sediments from the Irati and Corumbatal formations of the Parana basin, southeastern Brazil
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in the city of Limeira, southeastern Brazil, an important exposure of Permian sediments of the Parana basin was revealed by an open pit mine that exploits limestone for production of soil correction compounds and raw materials for the ceramic industry. The radioactivity of these sediments was investigated in some detail and the results provided a general view of the vertical distributions of uranium, thorium and potassium concentrations and of the element ratios U/K, U/Th and Th/K. In general, the concentrations of the main natural radioactive elements are low, with uranium being enriched in some limestone and shale levels. In addition the results showed that the U-238 series is in radioactive disequilibrium in many of the analyzed samples. Although the origin of the observed disequilibrium has not been investigated, the results suggest that it is due to weathering processes and water interaction with the rock matrix. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.