Abstract

Fifty samples of volcanic rocks from south-central France, ranging from basalts to rhyolites, were subjected to gamma spectrometry analysis for the purpose of determining the proportions and relationships of the constituent radioactive elements. Zircon, sphene and apatite generally contained less thorium and uranium than the less abundant accessory minerals such as allanite, monazite and xenotime. Results of the analysis also show that the percentage of radioactive minerals is greater in the acidic lavas than in the intrusive rocks, suggesting that the latter were subjected to hydrothermal alteration. The percentage of potassium varies in direct proportion to the variation in the percentage of silica. The increase in thorium as a function of silica is more rapid than that of uranium. Graphically, no correlation exists between the percentage of radium and silica. The concentrations of uranium and thorium do not vary independently but seem to have a statistical dependence whose functional relations are not yet apparent.

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