Relationship between Grain Size Distribution and Radon Content in Surficial Sediments of Wadi Arar, Saudi Arabia

M. A. M. Alghamdi


Surficial sediments with low radon content are desirable materials in construction applications. In this study, the relationship between grain size and radon content was investigated in sediments collected from seven sites in Wadi Arar, Saudi Arabia, with the intent of determining whether grain size analysis could be used for rapidly assessing the suitability of potential construction materials. Thirty-five samples were collected (five per site) and the grain size distribution was determined using sieves. Radon contents were measured on composite samples with a RAD7 radon detector. Among the sediment types (gravel, coarse sand, medium sand, fine sand, and silt and clay), the best linear correlations between grain size and radon contents were found for the coarse sand (negative slope, r=0.82) and fine sand (positive slope, r=0.78). Polynomial relationships were also tested. A fourth-degree polynomial equation effectively described the correlation between grain size and radon content (R2 = 0.933). As shown by this model, the highest correlations with radon contents were detected at grain sizes smaller than 2.0 mm. Thus, grain size may be useful for preliminary site assessment work.


grain size distribution; Rad7; Radon; construction material; polynomial

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