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Naturally Occuring in Rock, Soil and Water

Radionuclides in the Champlain Valley have been documented in primary sedimentary layers, plus as secondary coatings along fractures (McKeown, 1951 and Whitten, 1988). Bedrock mapping in the Colchester quadrangle (Kim and Thompson, 2002) focused in an area where domestic wells exceeded gross alpha standards. Detailed mapping, structural analysis, and geochemistry provided broad-based understanding of the radionuclide problem and serves as a prototype for future analysis throughout the State of Vermont. A statewide compilation of radioactivity data (below) was completed by Kim (2002) and other references are listed at the bottom of this page.

Compilation and Assessment of Geophysical and Geological Radioactivity Data in Vermont:
The map is a compilation of areas where ground-based and airborne geophysical and geological surveys have indicated the presence of elevated naturally occurring radioactivity relative to surrounding areas. Public water supplies with gross alpha radioactivity equal to or greater than 15 picocuries/liter and uranium occurrences are also shown. Elevated radioactivity areas determined via these surveys in the Milton and Colchester area coincide with many of the locations of domestic groundwater wells with elevated radioactivity. Therefore, the Vermont Geological Survey is showing the statewide distribution of elevated radioactivity areas in Vermont based on an assessment and compilation of data from older sources.

Map of Elevated Radioactivity Relative to Surrounding Areas

To view images, please click in the boxes below. Two images are given for each plate - small and larger .jpg files. The readme files for each plate include information on data sources and production of the digital data.
To order paper maps (11.5"x17") or to obtain digital data (jpg and Arcinfo), please contact the Vermont Geological Survey, 1 National Life Dr., Davis 2, Montpelier, VT 05602-3920. Please reference: Kim, Jonathan, Compiler, 2002, Compilation and Assessment of Radioactivity Data in Vermont: Vermont Geological Survey General Interest Publication.

MAP- Plate I: Compilation and Assessment of Radioactivity Data in Vermont Small image (192 kb jpg) Large (702 kb jpg) image Readme file
Supporting Data Layers
Plate II: Airborne Radioactivity Coverage of Vermont Small image- 206 kb jpg Large (765 kb jpg) image Readme file
Plate III: NURE Aeroradiometric Anomalies Small image- 158 kb jpg Large (565 kb jpg) image Readme file
Plate IV: Modified Airborne Radiometric Map of Popenoe (1964), U.S.G.S. GP-358 Small image- 177 kb jpg Large (614 kb jpg) image Readme file
Plate V: NURE Ground-Based Uranium Surveys Small image- 159 kb jpg Large (572 kb jpg) image Readme file
Plate VI: NURE Stream Sediment Data Small image- 163 kb jpg Large (586 kb jpg) image Readme file
Plate VII:Clarendon Springs Formation Small image- 158 kb jpg Large (565 kb jpg) image Readme file
Plate VIII: Gross Alpha for Public Water Supplies in Vermont that Utilize Groundwater Small image- 171 kb jpg Large (606 kb jpg) image Readme file
Plate IX: Uranium Occurrences in Vermont Small image- 154 kb jpg Large (564 kb jpg) image Readme file

Regional compilation of sources of groundwater contamination (arsenic and radionuclides) , Kim, 2014. Associated paper by Kim et al, 2014 may be downloaded as a pdf.

Radionuclides, Groundwater Chemistry, and Hydrogeology Above, Below, and Through the Hinesburg Thrust: Kim, et al, 2009,GSA Abstracts with Programs, v. 41, #3.

Radionuclide-enriched groundwater, Knox Mountain pluton, Vermont: occurrence and lithologic controls: Gleason et al, 2007,GSA Abstracts with Programs, v. 39 #1, p. 102.

Lithologic control on naturally occurring radioactivity and ground water chemistry across the Richardson Memorial Contact, central VT: Kim, et al, 2005, GSA Abs. with Prog., v. 37 #1.

Evaluation of Geologic Controls on Elevated Naturally-Occurring Radioactivity in Bedrock Ground Water Wells, NW Vermont: North, et al, 2005, GSA Abs with Prog, v. 37 #1, p. 78.

Walsh, G.J. and Satkoski, A.M., 2005, Surface gamma-ray survey of the Barre West quadrangle, Washington and Orange Counites, Vermont: USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5276, 19 p., only available on-line at

Bedrock and Radionuclide Mapping in the Colchester Quadrangle, Vermont: Kim and Thompson, 2002, GSA Abstracts with Programs, v. 34 #1, p. A17. Also see Plate 3 of the Colchester Open File report (VG01-1)

Geologic Context of Elevated Radionuclide Occurrences in NW Vermont: Kim & Becker, 2001, GSA Abstracts with Programs, v. 33, #1, p. A60.

Generalized Geologic 
	Map of Vermont - 1970 - click for larger map image

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