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Multivariate Statistical Analysis of High Background Radiation Area on the Hadhramout Coast

ABSTRACT

This work focuses on the radiometric characteristics of beach sand along the Hadhramout coast, Gulf of Aden, Yemen. Beach sands samples were collected from 27 locations. The activity concentrations of the terrestrial radionuclides 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K were determined. The results obtained provide pioneering data on the radioactivity levels in the coastal areas of Hadhramout. The radioactivity concentration of 232Th was found to be a major contributor to the enhanced level of radiation in some beaches. The radiological data were processed using one-way analysis of variance to find out the differences between the elevated and non-elevated 232Th groups of locations and multivariate statistical analysis, i.e., principal component analysis, discriminant analysis, and clustering analysis, to find similarities and correlation between the various samples and to discriminate between the two groups of locations. From the radiation hazard point of view, the outdoor annual effective dose for the region varied from 5.1 to 155.5 mSv with a mean value of 34.9 ± 31.9 mSv. The highest radiation level was found in Al-Jraf beach, where the highest absorbed dose rate of 126.8 nGyh−1 was recorded and the radiation hazard index exceeded twice the recommended limit of unity.