Multi-layer description model for radon concentration in soil

  • M. Orabi
Regular Article


A theoretical model is proposed to describe some experimental data for radon concentration in soil. The data shows a non-monotonic increase of the radon concentration with the soil depth. The model is based on the general transport equation that includes both diffusion and advection. A multi-layer soil configuration is assumed. Two challenges are faced. The first is that the exact solution of the transport equation is cumbersome to deal with for describing soils with more than two layers. The second is that some approximate solutions may lead to discontinuity between the different layers. In this study an efficient mathematical formulation is suggested that successfully reaches an approximate form which can cope with the two challenges. This formula is much simpler than the exact one, and can easily be applied to include many layers with smooth transition from one layer to the next. The model gives a good fitting with the experimental data and gives important characteristics of radon distribution and transport in soils that require a multi-layer description.


  1. 1.
    M. Al-Zoughool, D. Krewski, Int. J. Radiat. Biol. 85, 57 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    W.F. Bale, Reprinted in Health Phys. 38, 1061 (1980) unpublished memorandum to the U.S. Atomic Energy CommissionGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    B.L. Cohen, Health Phys. 68, 157 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. Darby, D. Hill, A. Auvinen, J.M. Barros-Dios, F. Baysson et al., BMJ 330, 223 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    EPA, EPA assessment of risks from radon in homes, Report EPA 402-R-03-003 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, 2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. Krewski, J.H. Lubin, J.M. Zielinski, M. Alavanja, V.S. Catalan et al., Epidemiology 16, 137 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J.H. Lubin, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 104, 315 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    J.H. Lubin, L. Tomášek, C. Edling, R.W. Hornung, G. Howe et al., Radiat. Res. 147, 126 (1997)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    J.S. Puskin, Health Phys. 84, 526 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    R.E. Thompson, D.F. Nelson, J.H. Popkin, Z. Popkin, Health Phys. 94, 228 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    I. Cozmuta Radon generation and transport -- A journey through matter, PhD Thesis (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands, 2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Y. Hafez, E. Awad, Cogent Phys. 3, 1254859 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics Department, Faculty of ScienceCairo UniversityGizaEgypt

Personalised recommendations