Use of radon isotopes, gamma radiation and dye tracers to study water interactions in a small stream in Brazil

  • Vinícius V. M. FerreiraEmail author
  • Rubens M. Moreira
  • Zildete Rocha
  • Cláudio J. Chagas
  • Raquel L. M. Fonseca
  • Talita O. Santos
  • Paulo C. H. Rodrigues
  • Maria Angela B. C. Menezes
Original Article


In this study, natural (222Rn) and fluorescent (uranin) tracers were used to investigate the interactions between surface and subsurface waters in a small hydrographical basin located in the southeast region of Brazil. Levels of 222Rn were measured in 117 water samples with the use of an alpha solid-state detector. After the identification of the probable discharge sections along the stream, a measurement of the natural flows, upstream and downstream of these sections, was done with the use of a fluorimeter and fluorescent tracers. Also, scanning was done to verify a correlation between the natural gamma radiation and the 222Rn in the areas where its activity was higher. The results showed some sections where the 222Rn activity is more significant and contributed to the growth of the flows along the stream. It was possible to confirm a correlation between the discharge sections and the natural gamma radiation, what can be used as a preliminary approach to finding these sections in scenarios similar to the one studied here.


Tracers Hydrology Discharge sections Radon 



FAPEMIG supported the activities described above—Research Support Foundation of the Minas Gerais State—Brazil (project APQ 00858/13). The authors also thank all the CDTN colleagues that helped the development of the activities during the execution of this project, the Federal University of Minas Gerais and Dr. Pierre Schnegg from Albillia Co.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinícius V. M. Ferreira
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rubens M. Moreira
    • 1
  • Zildete Rocha
    • 1
  • Cláudio J. Chagas
    • 1
  • Raquel L. M. Fonseca
    • 1
  • Talita O. Santos
    • 2
  • Paulo C. H. Rodrigues
    • 1
  • Maria Angela B. C. Menezes
    • 1
  1. 1.Development Center of Nuclear TechnologyBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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