Radium: geological information

Radium is found naturally in uranium ores such as pitchblende (mostly UO2). One tonne of pitchblende might yield about 0.15 g of radium. Ores containing radium are found in Zaire, Australia, Canada, and USA (New Mexico, Utah, and in small amounts in carnotite sands from Colorado). Recovery is costly. Some estimates suggest that every square kilometre of soil to a depth of a 40 cm contains about 1 g of radium.

Abundances of radium in various environments

In this table of abundances, values are given in units of ppb (parts per billion; 1 billion = 109), both in terms of weight and in terms of numbers of atoms. Values for abundances are difficult to determine with certainty, so all values should be treated with some caution, especially so for the less common elements. Local concentrations of any element can vary from those given here an orders of magnitude or so and values in various literature sources for less common elements do seem to vary considerably.

Abundances for radium in a number of different environments. Use the links in the location column for definitions, literature sources, and visual representations in many different styles (one of which is shown below)
Location ppb by weight ppb by atoms
Universe 0 no data
Sun no data no data
Meteorite (carbonaceous) no data no data
Crustal rocks 0.00010 0.00001
Sea water 0.00000001 0.0000000003
Stream 0.0000004 0.000000002
Human 0.000001 0.00000003


Log abundance (by atom numbers) in our sun

The chart above shows the log of the abundance (on a parts per billion scale) of the elements by atom number in our sun. Notice the "sawtooth" effect where elements with even atomic numbers tend to be more strongly represented than those with odd atomic numbers. This shows up best using the "Bar chart" option on the chart.

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radium atomic number