Radon in the Creswell Crags Permian limestone caves

Gillmore, G.K., Phillips, P.S., Denman, A.R. and Gilbertson, D.D. (2002) Radon in the Creswell Crags Permian limestone caves. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 62(2), pp. 165-179. ISSN (print) 0265-931X

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Abstract

An investigation of radon levels in the caves of Creswell Crags, Derbyshire, an important Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) shows that the Lower Magnesian Limestone (Permian) caves have moderate to raised radon gas levels (27-7800 Bq m−3) which generally increase with increasing distance into the caves from the entrance regions. This feature is partly explained in terms of cave ventilation and topography. While these levels are generally below the Action Level in the workplace (400 Bq m−3 in the UK), they are above the Action Level for domestic properties (200 Bq m−3). Creswell Crags has approximately 40,000 visitors per year and therefore a quantification of effective dose is important for both visitors and guides to the Robin Hood show cave. Due to short exposure times the dose received by visitors is low (0.0016 mSv/visit) and regulations concerning exposure are not contravened. Similarly, the dose received by guides is fairly low (0.4 mSv/annum) due in part to current working practice. However, the risk to researchers entering the more inaccessible areas of the cave system is higher (0.06 mSv/visit). This survey also investigated the effect of seasonal variations on recorded radon concentration. From this work summer to winter ratios of between 1.1 and 9.51 were determined for different locations within the largest cave system.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: radon, health, caves
Research Area: Earth systems and environmental sciences
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science (until 2011) > School of Geography, Geology and Environment > Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research (CEESR)
Depositing User: Gavin Gillmore
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2008 17:22
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/1657

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