Characterizing the quality and radioactivity of groundwater is vital as it represents valuable resource in arid regions. Here we present radioactivity level in groundwater collected from wells in a region along the border between Sultanate of Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The aquifers are alluvium deposits (silt, sand and gravel) and the measured groundwater radioactivity (including 232Th, 238U, 235U, 226Ra, 222Rn, gross-α and gross-β) indicates values below the WHO permissible limits for drinking water. The results also show large difference in radioactivity fingerprints, in particular for 226Ra and 222Rn within the investigated aquifers. The data further indicate lower radioactivity in groundwater of the alluviums compared to the carbonate aquifers in the region. This feature makes the alluvium aquifers valuable reservoirs that should be carefully exploited as a source of groundwater. As this is the first investigation on the radioactivity of groundwater in alluvial aquifers in the region, it suggests that other alluvial deposits, particularly those inland and far from the marine water intrusion or seepage from carbonate rocks would have low radioactivity fingerprints.
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 2014, Vol 299, p. 1653-1660