Radiometric properties of marine mammal fossils from the Westerschelde Estuary (Province of Zeeland, the Netherlands)
de Meijer, R.J.; van der Graaf, E.R.; Post, K. (2016). Radiometric properties of marine mammal fossils from the Westerschelde Estuary (Province of Zeeland, the Netherlands). Deinsea-Rotterdam 16: 10-18
This paper reports on the radioactivity in fossil bones dredged from the bottom of the Westerschelde Estuary, the Netherlands. The fossil bones’ radioactivity was measured with three techniques and their results are compared and found to be complementary. Enhanced levels of radioactivity are found to be related to concentration of natural uranium. Thorium is hardly present and the concentrations of potassium are low. The details of the uranification of the bones are not yet clear. Various hypotheses may explain the limited data of this exploratory investigation. The uranium concentrations in some of the bones are such that they are subdued to the Dutch regulations concerning radioactive substances. Working in the collection rooms where the fossils are stored does not result in higher exposure to ionised radiation compared to working in normal museum offices.
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