Beresford, N.A. et al

Exposure of burrowing mammals to Radon Rn-222 in Northwest England

This dataset includes individual passive detector measurements of radon Rn-222 in the air of artificial burrows, Rn-222 measurements by instrumentation in soil gas of interstitial soil pores and burrow air, gamma analyses results for soil samples and, soil moisture and temperature data. Estimates of absorbed dose rates to wildlife from exposure to natural background radionuclides are required to put estimates of dose rates arising from regulated releases of radioactivity and proposed benchmarks into context. These data are from a study conducted at seven sites in northwest England (comprising broadleaved and coniferous woodlands, scrubland and pastures). Passive track etch detectors were used to measure the Rn-222 concentrations in artificial burrows over a period of approximately one year (July 2009 to June 2010). Instrumented measurements of burrow air and soil pore gas were also conducted in October 2009.

The data result from a study funded by NERC-CEH and the England & Wales Environment Agency.

Publication date: 2012-05-29

Get the data

Licence terms and conditions apply

Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Beresford, N.A.; Barnett, C.L.; Vives i Batlle, J.; Potter, E.D.; Ibrahimi, Z-F.; Barlow, T.S.; Schieb, C.; Jones, D.G.; Copplestone, D. (2012). Exposure of burrowing mammals to Radon Rn-222 in Northwest England. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.



Study area
Temporal extent
2008-12-01    to    2012-06-30

Supplemental information

This dataset is referenced in:

Beresford, N. A., Barnett, C. L., Vives i Batlle, J., Potter, E. D., Ibrahimi, Z.-F., Barlow, T. S., Schieb, C., Jones, D.G. & Copplestone, D. (2012). Exposure of burrowing mammals to 222Rn. Science of The Total Environment, 431, 252-261.

Provenance & quality

Methodologies for Rn-222 measurements described in: Beresford N.A. et al, Exposure of burrowing mammals to 222Rn, Sci Total Environ (2012), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.05.023 Gamma analyses (not reported in above paper) Soil samples were taken to a depth of 50 cm from adjacent to each burrow at the end of the study for subsequent gamma-analyses. Samples we dried at 80°C, homogenised and weighed into c. 950 ml plastic containers. The containers were sealed and left for 25 d to allow secular equilibrium to be reached. The samples were subsequently counted on hyper-pure Ge-detectors for 4 d. The resultant spectra were analysed using the Canberra Apex-Gamma software package. The detectors are calibrated using certified standards, containing mixtures of gamma-emitting radionuclides, which are mixed into matrix of different densities. The methodology is UKAS accredited.

Correspondence/contact details

Professor Nick Beresford
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg
United Kingdom


Beresford, N.A.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Barnett, C.L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Vives i Batlle, J.
Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK.CEN)
Potter, E.D.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Ibrahimi, Z-F.
Public Health England, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards
Barlow, T.S.
British Geological Survey
Schieb, C.
British Geological Survey
Jones, D.G.
British Geological Survey
Copplestone, D.
University of Stirling

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
background exposure,  burrowing animals,  CEH Biogeochemistry Programme,  Cumbria Great Britain,  Pollution radioecology,  Radioecology radionuclide,  radon
Environmental Monitoring Facilities