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Radioactivity survey on Godakawela gem field in Sri Lanka; to identify the origin of the unknown radioactive mineral

Authors:

K. A. D. D. N. Kuruppu ,

Uva Wellassa University, Badulla, LK
About K. A. D. D. N.
Department of Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences
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H. P. T. Sasanka Hewathilake,

Uva Wellassa University, Badulla, LK
About H. P. T. Sasanka
Department of Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences
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I. K. M. S. C. K. Illangasinghe,

Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute, Hidellana, Ratnapura, LK
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R. A. N. C. Ranasinghe,

Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board, Colombo, LK
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N. Jayasinghe,

Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute, Hidellana, Ratnapura, LK
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T. S. Dharmaratne

Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute, Hidellana, Ratnapura, LK
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Abstract

Sri Lanka is well known for high-quality gemstones and approximately 25% of the total land area is liable for potential gem fields. Despite of that identification of new promising gem bearing areas is essential. In Sri Lanka, such investigations are mostly based on the sedimentological and geochemical analysis rather than in-situ radioactive surveys which are common in global contest. Information derived from sporadic studies and gem miners revealed that Godakawela gem field has interesting radioactiveness. Hence, this study focuses on the presence of radioactive minerals, their distribution and the origin of the gem deposit in Godakawela gem field. The ambient gamma dose rate was measured by the plastic scintillation detector from 40 points in random walk mode and gamma energy value was recorded in the NaI scintillation detector. Results have proved that Godakawela region has high radioactiveness with respect to the average baseline value Sri Lanka. The radioactive anomaly pattern and the presence of zircon and tourmaline like associated minerals, together with the surrounded geological aspects have suggested that the radioactive minerals may have a primary origin. Further, X-ray diffractogram shows the corresponding peaks for euxenite as a radioactive mineral but to confirm recrystallization analysis with heat treatment is needed.
How to Cite: Kuruppu, K.A.D.D.N., Hewathilake, H.P.T.S., Illangasinghe, I.K.M.S.C.K., Ranasinghe, R.A.N.C., Jayasinghe, N. and Dharmaratne, T.S., 2013. Radioactivity survey on Godakawela gem field in Sri Lanka; to identify the origin of the unknown radioactive mineral. Journal of the Geological Society of Sri Lanka, 21(1), pp.57–65. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jgssl.v21i1.38
Published on 13 Jul 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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