On the Correction of Spatial and Statistical Uncertainties in Systematic Measurements of 222Rn for Earthquake Prediction

Abstract

In earthquake prediction studies, the regional behaviour of accurate 222Rn measurements at a set of sites plays a significant role. Here, measurements are obtained using active and passive radon detector systems in an earthquake-active region of Turkey. Two new methods are proposed to explain the spatial behaviours and the statistical uncertainties in the 222Rn emission measurements along fault lines in relation to earthquake occurrence. The absolute point cumulative semivariogram (APCSV) and perturbation method (PM) help to depict the spatial distribution patterns of 222Rn in addition to the joint effects of the K dr, the radon distribution coefficient, and the perturbation radon distribution coefficient (PRDC). The K dr coefficient assists in identifying the spatial distributional behaviour in 222Rn concentrations and their migration along the Earth’s surface layers. The PRDC considers not only the arithmetic averages but also the variances (or standard deviations) and the correlation coefficients, in addition to the size of the error among the 222Rn measurements. The applications of these methodologies are performed for 13,000 222Rn measurements that are deemed to be sufficient for the characterization of tectonics in the Keban Reservoir along the East Anatolian Fault System (EAFS) in Turkey. The results are evaluated for the İçme earthquake (M L 5.4, 5.7 km, 23 June 2011), which occurred in the vicinity of the EAFS.

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Abbreviations

K d :

Classical distribution coefficient

K dr :

Radon distribution coefficient

ReV:

Regionalized variable

SV:

Classical semivariogram

CSV:

Cumulative semivariogram

PCSV:

Point cumulative semivariogram

APCSV:

Absolute point cumulative semivariogram

STPCSV:

Spatio-temporal point cumulative semivariogram

TPCSV:

Trigonometric point cumulative semivariogram

PRDC:

Perturbation radon distribution coefficient

PM:

Perturbation method

Rns :

Total radon concentration in the solid phase

Rnw :

Total radon concentration in the liquid phase

cps:

Count per second

cpm:

Count per minute

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Acknowledgments

We thank our colleagues at Fırat University, namely Dr. Murat İnceöz, Dr. Seçil Niksarlıoğlu, Dr. Şule Karabulut, Dr. Mücahit Yılmaz, and Dr. Sultan Şahin for technical assistance, and we also thank KOERI (Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, Turkey) for the earthquake data in the study area. This work is partially supported by Fırat University under Project No. FÜBAP-894. We would like to thank the local community (approximately 12 people) for assistance with very hard field studies. Finally, the authors are grateful for constructive criticisms provided by Prof. Michael Rycroft (Editor-in-Chief) and anonymous reviewers whose insights improved the quality of the article.

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Külahcı, F., Şen, Z. On the Correction of Spatial and Statistical Uncertainties in Systematic Measurements of 222Rn for Earthquake Prediction. Surv Geophys 35, 449–478 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10712-013-9273-8

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Keywords

  • Earthquake prediction
  • Cumulative semivariogram
  • Fault line
  • Earthquake precursors
  • Radon observations
  • Spatial analysis of observed variations