It has been known for many years that certain weather events (e.g., precipitation, low barometric pressure, etc.) can affect the results of outdoor gamma-ray surveys, particularly those where gamma spectroscopy is being used for the detection of uranium and its progeny. These effects are a result of a natural phenomenon that produces anomalous results that are contrary to the true concentrations present at the survey site. Gamma-ray survey results sometimes overestimate uranium concentrations during and immediately following rain or snowfall events.
The effects that a precipitation event has upon a drive-over gamma-ray survey are discussed in this paper. Surveys were conducted using a sensitive array of sodium iodide (NaI) detectors mounted to an all-terrain vehicle in late fall/early winter where snow was encountered. Isotope-specific measurements taken before and during precipitation events are compared and visually presented in iso-contour maps.