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How does the Gamma Spectrometry method work?

Gamma spectrometry is a geophysical investigation that will measure the sources of radiation of a given material, with the main sources of natural gamma radiation detected on the Earth’s surface coming from the natural disintegration of potassium (40K) and the elements of the uranium (238U) and thorium (232Th) series in soil and rocks.
The total radiation count will be obtained through a spectrometer, by measuring all gamma rays within the energy window from 0.41 to 2.81 MeV. In this interval, each of these three elements concentrates at different energy peaks and the measuring equipment records the energies and intensities at regular intervals in rock/soil samples. Based on the spectral patterns and peak intensities, it is possible to infer the concentration and distribution of these elements in the subsurface.


What are the Main Applications of Gamma Spectrometry?

After corrections and processing of gamma spectrometric data, the results are interpreted in conjunction with other geological and geophysical data to understand the composition of the subsurface. The spatial distribution of radioactive elements can provide information on regional geology, rock mineragy, the presence of mineral deposits, hydrothermal alteration, geological structuring, among other aspects.
The main result of gamma spectrometry is the so-called ternary map of radiometric elements, which is generated from the association of certain colors with one of the radioelements. Generally, the colors are RGB (Red, Green and Blue), for K (%) and thorium and uranium in (ppm). In this way, the colors are associated with each of the vertices of an equilateral triangle, with gradations varying according to each of the elements.

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