Radiation evidence in Volcanic lava

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by river, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. river

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    So far in my my search I have found no radiation evidence in fresh or new lava flows .

    Any found different results ? If so what site ?
     
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure what you mean there. Are you looking for radioactive materials in lava? Are you looking to date lava radiologically? Trying to build a dirty bomb?
     
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  5. river

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    I'm looking for how radioactive molten lava is , or isn't .

    Has this measurement even been done , at all ?
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Molten lava is just molten rock, and rocks tend to contain radioactive elements of various types.
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The rock involved is often quite old, many multiples of the half lives of radioactive elements normally found in rock. Measuring such low levels is delicate and difficult in the best of circumstances, measuring them in the rock while it's still molten seems an odd ambition.
     
  9. river

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    I would like to think measuring the radioactive activity in new lava is important .
     
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Why?
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I found this short presentation on the types of rock in which radioactive elements are found in the highest concentrations: https://cemp.dri.edu/cemp/workshop2009/presentations/Hurley-Radioactivity_Geologic_Environ.pdf

    The presenter mentions the radioisotopes of K, U and Th as especially abundant and says that as all form large cations they tend to be found in minerals with suitably sized voids in the crystal structure. This leads them to be concentrated in process of fractionation, such as occurs when as granitic magmas develop. Granite, which is NOT a lava but a cooled deposit of un-erupted magma, is among the most radioactive rocks, due mainly to its K content.

    There is a table on slide 14 that shows those where radioactivity is most commonly found. The commonly radioactive rocks listed are granite, shale, bedded phosphate and coal, none of which is derived from lava. The only lava-derived rocks listed are andesite, which appears in the occasionally radioactive column and basalt, which is in the rarely radioactive column.

    Granite is explained above. Shale, being derived from clay minerals, has suitable voids in the structure to trap these large cations. Phosphate I imagine contains a lot of K. For me, the odd one out is coal. Why this is commonly radioactive is not clear to me at the moment. Maybe someone else can help.
     
  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry, but the reason for doing this swooshed me somewhere along the line.
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    While it's still molten? What for?
    At least let it cool down to where it doesn't wreck your gear.
    Uranium is water soluble from rock, and is absorbed by organic debris.
    So it concentrates (relatively speaking) in the mud of swamps, shallow lakes and seas, etc.
    There's a shale bed in Europe somewhere that is listed as low grade uranium ore.
     
  14. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe we could prove the interior of the Earth is only about 6,000 years old?

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  15. river

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    I'm trying to understand whether the Earth's core heat is actually from a radioactive material .
     
  16. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    You know the core is way down there:

    Structure of the Earth
    Thickness (km)Density (g/cm3)
    Crust 302.2
    Upper mantle 7203.4
    Lower mantle 2,1714.4
    Outer core 2,2599.9

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Geophys/earthstruct.html
     
  17. river

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  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you want to measure the radioactivity of molten lava, melted rock, while it's still hot?
     
  19. river

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    Well wouldn't lava have radioactive material in it ?

    Since molten lava comes from very deep within Earth's crust .
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Usually not much - it's usually old, recycled, long buried rock.

    And whether or not it does, what it is, etc, would be a lot easier to determine after it's cooled off enough to handle easily. You don't want to be handling molten lava unless you absolutely have to - that stuff is dangerous.
    The earth's crust is more than a thousand miles from the core, and there's an entire layer of mantle rock in between.
     
  21. river

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    You wouldn't need to " handle " the molten lava , just use a Geiger counter .

    Sure but there is no reason to think that radioactive material could not seep into the lava .
     
  22. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    If you want it to happen, sure.

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  23. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

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    Look-up mantle plumes and where they are assumed to originate. Core mantle boundary??

    https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/question-mantle-plumes
    My bold
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018

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