Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 8, pp 3593–3604 | Cite as

Radiation impact assessment of naturally occurring radionuclides and magnetic mineral studies of Bharathapuzha river sediments, South India

  • N. KrishnamoorthyEmail author
  • S. Mullainathan
  • R. Mehra
  • Marcos A. E. Chaparro
  • Mauro A. E. Chaparro
Original Article


The natural radioactivity levels and magnetic measurements in sediment samples of Bharathapuzha river for the first time have been determined. Bottom sediments from 33 locations were collected to determine 226Ra, 232Th and 40K using a HPGe detector based on the high-resolution gamma spectrometry system, and magnetic susceptibility by using Bartington MS2 magnetic susceptibility meter. The calculated activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K have been found to vary from 21.21 to 66.03 Bq kg−1, 33.49 to 93.10 Bq kg−1 and 232.25 to 899.66 Bq kg−1, respectively. The results have been compared with worldwide recommended values and also with radioactivity measurements in river sediments of India and other parts of the world. The air-absorbed dose rate, indoor and outdoor annual effective dose rates and radium equivalent activity are calculated with an aim to access the radiation hazards arising due to the use of these materials in the construction of buildings and their mean values obtained are 74.83 nGy h−1, 367.08 μSv y−1, 91.77 μSv y−1 and 157.09 Bq kg−1, respectively. The mass-specific magnetic susceptibility values ranged widely from 35.4 to 2,160.5 × 10−8 m3 kg−1 and compared with other rivers in South India. Multivariate statistical analyses were performed to describe the magnetic and radioactivity relevance of the different groups of samples. The data obtained in the present study may be useful for radiological and magnetic mapping of the study area in the future.


Natural radioactivity Hazard indices Magnetic susceptibility Fuzzy c-means clustering River sediments Bharathapuzha river 



The authors are grateful to the University and officials of Health Physics Laboratory of Inter University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi for their support in providing the necessary equipments for gamma-ray spectrometry, as well as the Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (UNCPBA), and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET). They also thank to Mr. P. Zubeldia (Tech. CICPBA) for his help.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Krishnamoorthy
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • S. Mullainathan
    • 3
  • R. Mehra
    • 4
  • Marcos A. E. Chaparro
    • 5
  • Mauro A. E. Chaparro
    • 6
  1. 1.Research and Development CentreBharathiar UniversityCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsCSI College of EngineeringKettiIndia
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsAVC College of EngineeringMayiladuthuraiIndia
  4. 4.Department of PhysicsDr. B R Ambedkar National Institute of TechnologyJalandharIndia
  5. 5.Instituto de Fisica Arroyo Seco (UNCPBA), CONICETTandilArgentina
  6. 6.Instituto Multidisciplinario de Ecosistemas y Desarrollo Sustentable (UNCPBA), CONICETTandilArgentina

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