Atmospheric Bismuth-212: Measurement and Some Geophysical Applications

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Science  01 Mar 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3818, pp. 977-979
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3818.977


The concentrations of lead-212 and its short-lived daughter bismuth-212 in air near the ground were determined simultaneously by adaptation of the immersed-filter, delayed-coincidence technique of Assaf and Gat to measurement of the 3 x 10-7-second bismuth-212 and polonium-212 pair. The radioactive disequilibrium between lead-212 and bismuth-212 depends strongly on the efficiency of the ground in acting as a sink for these nuclides. This efficiency is low under dry conditions.