Natural radioactivity is very important for the assessment of the marine sand property and usability. By using gamma spectrometry, the concentration of the natural radionuclides 226Ra, 232Th and 40K have been measured in marine sand deposits from Liaodong Bay (LDB), North Yellow Sea (NYS), Zhoushan area (ZS), Taiwan Shoal (TS) and Pearl River Mouth (PR), offshore China, which are potential marine sand mining areas. The radiation activity equivalent (Raeq), indoor gamma absorbed dose rate (DR), annual effective dose (HR), alpha index (Ia), gamma index (Ig), external radiation hazard index (Hex), internal radiation hazard index (Hin), representative level index (RLI), excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) and annual gonadal dose equivalent (AGDE) associated with the natural radionuclides are calculated to assess the radiation hazard of the natural radioactivity in the marine sands offshore China. From the analysis, it is found that these marine sands are safe for the constructions. The Pearson correlation coefficient reveals that the 226Ra distribution in the marine sands offshore China is controlled by the variation of the 40K concentration. Principal component analysis (PCA) yields a two-component representation of the entire data from the marine sands, wherein 98.22% of the total variance is explained. Our results provide good baseline data to expand the database of radioactivity of building materials in China and all over the world.
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