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What Are Radiometric Surveys?

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Radiometric surveys are a powerful tool used in the exploration and mining industries for the detection and mapping of radioactive minerals. These surveys involve measuring the natural radiation emitted by rocks and soil in a specific area to identify the presence of radioactive elements, such as uranium, thorium, and potassium.

This information can then be used to identify potential mineral deposits and ultimately assist in the identification of economically viable mining sites.

What Are Radiometric Surveys?

Radiometric surveys are a non-invasive exploration technique and are therefore a cost-effective and efficient method of resource exploration. They can be conducted from the air using helicopters or airplanes equipped with radiometric sensors, or on the ground using handheld devices or car-mounted sensors. The sensors measure the radiation emitted by minerals in the earth's crust, and an accurate map is then produced showing the distribution of these minerals.

Types of Radiometric Surveys

Airborne Surveys - Airborne surveys involve flying a specially equipped aircraft over a specified area, scanning the ground with a gamma-ray spectrometer. The gamma-ray spectrometry system collects data on the radiation emitted from rocks and soil in the area. Once the data is collected, it is analyzed to determine the location and abundance of minerals in the area.

Ground-Based Surveys - Ground-based surveys are conducted by walking or driving over the ground with a handheld detector or a car-mounted sensor to identify and measure the amount of radiation in the surrounding area. The information gathered can then be used to create a map of the deposit.

Drone-Based Surveys - Drones equipped with radiometric sensors are used for smaller surveys, where they can navigate through difficult terrain to reach remote areas. Drone-based surveys are a quicker and more cost-effective method than traditional ground-based surveys, as they do not require a large team of experts to conduct them.

Uses of Radiometric Surveys

Radiometric surveys are used in a variety of industries, including mining, civil engineering, and environmental monitoring. In the mining industry, radiometric surveys are used to locate deposits of radioactive minerals, such as uranium and thorium. This information is used to determine the commercial viability of the deposit and plan the mine's development.

In civil engineering, radiometric surveys are used to evaluate the potential risk of radiation in building materials. They are also used to detect and identify sources of radiation in the environment.

In environmental monitoring, radiometric surveys are used to detect pollutants and chemical contaminants in the environment. This information can be used to create effective strategies to reduce environmental pollution, identify areas of high contamination, and prevent damage to human health.


Radiometric surveys are a highly effective tool for exploration and mining in resource industries. They enable geologists and mining professionals to obtain detailed information on the distribution and concentration of radioactive minerals, which can be used to identify new targets for further exploration. With the latest technology, radiometric surveys can be conducted more quickly, efficiently, and accurately than ever before, providing valuable insights that increase the likelihood of successful exploration projects. If you're looking to explore new mineral deposits, you should consider engaging a professional company like SBR Energy for your radiometric survey needs.


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