All radium and radon in the earth comes from uranium. Therefore, radium and radon are more than pathfinders: they are direct indicators of uranium.

  • With half-lives of 1622 years and 3.8 days respectively, radium and radon are so short-lived that any originally present when the earth formed billions of years ago has decayed and what we find now is all a direct product of uranium.

  • It's the same nucleus, just a few protons and neutrons have been lost.

  • The same is true for all the other members of the uranium and thorium decay series, except for helium and some of the isotopes of lead, which are stable.

  • Each of the elements in these decay series has a different chemical behaviour. Lead is a metal, radium is an alkaline earth, and radon and helium are noble gases. Each has a different half-life.

  • The different chemistry and half-life means that each of these elements follows a different process in its separation from an orebody and formation of a geochemical anomaly, giving us a wide variety of geochemical techniques for uranium exploration. Radium and radon are particularly easy to analyse for.

  • Sometimes radon and radium are called pathfinders for uranium, as in mercury being a pathfinder for base metals, but it's more than that. As the same nucleus, they are direct indicators of uranium, just as direct as measuring the element uranium itself.

  • We measure: radon - radium - thoron - radon daughters - alpha radiation.
  • The Lucas cell is recognized as the most sensitive and reliable method for these elements.
  • Our instruments are used around the world in exploration for uranium, oil & gas, groundwater and hydrothermal, and in environmental protection, health physics, earthquake prediction, and evaluation of hydrocarbon and NAPL contamination.
  • In the radon business since 1968, our latest major instrument update was 2015.
  • Modern, low-power, field-rugged electronics. Some earlier versions still working after 35 years.
  • Continuous real-time monitoring and data recording.
  • Winter and summer, from the Sahara Desert to the Canadian Shield, our instruments have faced up to severe field conditions.
  • Intrinsically safe functions.
  • Sensitive to geochemical trace levels necessary for radon in lake water and for radon-thoron isotope ratios.
  • Can work in a tent without electricity or be carried from point to point in the field.
  • 50 readings per day. Results available immediately.
  • Rechargeable battery pack good for a long day in the field and recharges in a few hours.
  • Can be operated by junior personnel if carefully supervised.
  • Same instruments used for radon and radium in soil, sediment, plant parts, rocks, water, soil gas, air, and snow, and for radon daughters in air.
  • EPA compliant.
  • Click here for more details of instruments.
  • Click here for or other instruments, components and accessories we provide
  • Technical specification sheets and pictures of our instruments provided on request.
  • Multilingual consulting and training (if required).
For instruments contact
R.H. Morse & Associates Ltd.
skype: robert.morse.toronto

Robert H. Morse, Ph.D., P.Eng.
March 21, 2010
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