Environmental Earth Sciences

, 75:1489 | Cite as

Tectonic and geologic influences on soil gas radon emission along the western extension of Damascus fault, Syria

  • Mohamed Al-HilalEmail author
  • Mohamad K. Abdul-Wahed
Original Article


The main purpose of this work is to demonstrate the possibility of using soil gas radon survey as a promising technique for locating the trend of western extension of Damascus fault, where it is hidden under a cover of Pliocene unconsolidated deposits. The normal level of radon background was established in a stationary area away from the tectonic influence of the fault zone. The sites of radon measurements were chosen according to the accessibility and suitability of the area, besides some indicative geologic and tectonic evidences. A total of 81 radon sampling points were analyzed, and the results revealed some reasonable spatial increases, with peak values of 2–3 times higher than the background level, trending in accordance with what is believed to be the general direction of the fault in the bedrock. However, permeability properties rather than geotectonic activities seemed to be the main causes controlling the variations of radon concentration over the concerned fault zone. Yet, the moderate level of the observed radon values could be attributed to the nature of the prevailing rock types, as well as the probable effect of locked tectonic structure due to the action of high regional compressive regime which typically originates such reverse faulting. Further, the accumulation of fill materials due to rock alteration along the plane of such dormant fault, through long geologic time, possibly led to increase in the ratio of clay minerals which may affect soil gas mobility through the medium.


Soil gas radon measurements Buried tectonic structure Damascus fault Syria 



The authors thankfully acknowledge Professor I. Othman, Director General of Syrian Atomic Energy Commission (SAEC), for his encouragement and support. Thanks are also due to Dr. Z. Kattan, Head of the Geology Department of SAEC, for his assistance. We gratefully acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that substantially improved the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyThe Atomic Energy Commission of Syria (AECS)DamascusSyria

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