Application of fractal and morphological methods in radioecology

Makarenko, Nikolay, Karimova, Lyailya and Novak, Miroslav M. (2003) Application of fractal and morphological methods in radioecology. Health Physics, 85(3), pp. 330-342. ISSN (print) 0017-9078


Effective management of radioactive contamination requires comprehensive knowledge of pollutants' characteristics. The complicated character of the problem is due to a number of issues, such as the very wide range of contamination, the presence of a mixture of radioactive isotopes, the highly variable diffusion of radionuclides in soil, water, and air, and the effect of climatic conditions. The resultant field has an irregular mosaic structure, which restricts the choice of measurement methods and data processing. In view of this, application of classical statistics techniques is often inappropriate in modeling such an environment. Application of the tools of fractal and stochastic geometry provides a good insight and helps to distinguish between distribution characteristics of natural and man-made isotopes. Several techniques are implemented to determine scaling aspects of contaminated fields. The discovery of multifractal scaling leads to the hierarchical structure of contamination spots on different scales and intensity and places restrictions on the measurement net for detecting anomalies. The method of stochastic geometry further demonstrates that topological characteristics of contamination fields differ from those of the Gaussian fields and the topology of man-made isotopes differs from natural ones.

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