The measurements of gamma activity and 222Rn activity concentration in the Krásnohorská cave

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From July, 26th to July 27th, 2019 the colleagues from the Portuguese research and development institution Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science, Porto (INESC TEC) visited the Earth Science Institute of SAS. Their visit to Slovakia was realized within a bilateral mobility project of the APVV agency RADCAMIN: Radon in caves and mines - Portuguese and Slovak case studies. The Portuguese research team consists from Dr. Susana Barbosa, MSc. Carlos Almeida and MSc. Guilherme Amaral. The Slovak research team is represented by Ing. RNDr. Iveta Smetanová, PhD. Mgr. Marek Vďačný, PhD. and Mgr. Ľubica Luhová.

The main goal of the visit was to perform the gamma activity measurements in a flooded part of a cave in the Slovak karst. Because at least 1.5 m water level is necessary to perform the test measurements, the Slovak Cave Association suggested the Krásnohorská cave as the most suitable locality for the measurements.

With help from the cave manager RNDr. Jaroslav Stankovič, two measuring systems were placed in the cave, for continuous three days monitoring. Gamma sensor for water measurements was equipped with the waterproof cover, developed and produced in the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory in INESC TEC. The radon sensor for the continuous monitoring of 222Rn activity concentration in the cave atmosphere was situated at the same monitoring site.

Both research teams also visited other locations, suggested by the Slovak Cave Association as possible monitoring sites in the future (the Ochtinská cave, the Gombasecká cave, the Dobšinská ice cave).

On July 29th, the Portuguese project leader Dr. Susana Barbosa gave a lecture in the Earth Science Institute in Bratislava, entitled „Underwater monitoring of environmental radioactivity“. In her lecture she introduced the institution INESC TEC, its purpose and research areas and presented her projects concerning natural radioactivity.


Gamma sensor in the Krásnohorská cave.


Guilherme Amaral on the way to the monitoring station in the Krásnohorská cave.


After the measurements (on the left Iveta Smetanová, Susana Barbosa, Ľubica Luhová).