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Exploration Technique: Radiometrics

Exploration Technique Information
Exploration Group: Remote Sensing Techniques
Exploration Sub Group: Passive Sensors
Parent Exploration Technique: Passive Sensors
Information Provided by Technique
Lithology: Primary use is in mapping potassium alterations
Cost Information
Low-End Estimate (USD): 8.04804 centUSD
0.00804 kUSD
8.04e-6 MUSD
8.04e-9 TUSD
/ mile
Median Estimate (USD): 4,609.55460,955 centUSD
4.61 kUSD
0.00461 MUSD
4.60955e-6 TUSD
/ mile
High-End Estimate (USD): 16,000.001,600,000 centUSD
16 kUSD
0.016 MUSD
1.6e-5 TUSD
/ mile
Time Required
Low-End Estimate: 0.05 days1.368925e-4 years
1.2 hours
0.00714 weeks
0.00164 months
/ 10 mile
Median Estimate: 1.12 days0.00307 years
26.88 hours
0.16 weeks
0.0368 months
/ 10 mile
High-End Estimate: 4.02 days0.011 years
96.48 hours
0.574 weeks
0.132 months
/ 10 mile
Additional Info
Cost/Time Dependency: Location, Size, Resolution, Terrain, Weather, Permitting Restrictions
Radiometric (or Airborne Gamma-Ray Spectrometer) Surveys detect and map gamma rays. Gamma rays are natural radioactive emanations from materials in the rocks and soils. All detectable gamma radiation from earth materials come from the natural decay products of either potassium, uranium, or thorium. The gamma ray data are interpreted in combination with other airborne survey data, such as Magnetic Techniques, satellite images and geological and soil maps to map minerals with these radioactive elements, such as magnetite.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle

Radiometric Surveying is widely used in geologic mapping, soil surveying, mineral exploration, and lithologic studies. It is a surface mapping technique, penetrating only the top 50 cm or so of the earth's surface. The basic purpose of radiometric surveys is to determine either the absolute or relative amounts of U, Th., and K in the surface rocks and soils.
Use in Geothermal Exploration
Radiometric surveys can be used for a number of applications. In geothermal exploration, two types of of maps are typically created:

  • geological mapping (mineral, water features, paleodrainage systems)
  • potassium alteration mapping

Data Access and Acquisition

  • Data can be processed to produce maps of K, eU and eTH

Best Practices

  • Because this techniques maps surface feature, it is important to have a solid understanding of surface processes (e.g. weathering) and the interaction of these processes with bedrock.

Potential Pitfalls

  • Disequilibrium in the U decay series can be a significant source of error. Estimates of U concentrations are based on the assumptions of equilibrium conditions, which is not necessarily the case.
  • The environment can also affect fluence rates. Gamma rays attenuate exponentially with distance from the source. Vegetation and soil moisture can adversely affect the estimates of the surface concentrations of the radioelements.[1]

  1.  "[ Guidelines for Radioelement Mapping Using Gamma Ray Spectrometry Data]"

Page Area Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Radiometrics At Chena Geothermal Area (Kolker, 2008) Chena Geothermal Area 2005 2007

Radiometrics At Fort Bliss Area (DOE GTP) Fort Bliss Area

Radiometrics At Lightning Dock Geothermal Area (Deal, Et Al., 1978) Lightning Dock Geothermal Area

Radiometrics At Reese River Area (Henkle, Et Al., 2005) Reese River Area

Radiometrics At Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Petersen, 1975) Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area 1975 1975

Radiometrics At Salt Wells Area (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2006) Salt Wells Geothermal Area 2005 2005

Radiometrics At Salt Wells Area (Henkle, Et Al., 2005) Salt Wells Area 2005

Radiometrics At Silver Peak Area (Henkle, Et Al., 2005) Silver Peak Area

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