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Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 795–813 | Cite as

Variations in radon activity in the crustal fault zones: Spatial characteristics

  • K. Zh. Seminsky
  • A. A. Bobrov
  • S. Demberel
Article

Abstract

The data of the profile gas emanation survey conducted on three spatial scales in separate regions of the Mongolia-Baikal seismic belt are generalized to establish the regularities of the spatially heterogeneous distribution of soil radon activity above the active faults in the Earth’s crust. It is shown that the shapes, sizes, and contrast of the near-fault radon anomalies are complicated by erosion and weathering; however, the critical role in their formation is played by the structural-geological controls, which determine the internal structure and recent activity of the fault zones. As a consequence, the cross-fault shape of the studied radon anomalies is vitally controlled by four structural situations, which correspond to the combinations of the structural type of the fault (localized/distributed) and the presence/absence of the fine filler material in the zone controlled by the fault. The cross-fault dimension of the emanation anomaly is commensurate or slightly larger than the width of the fault zone comprising all the fractures and joints associated with the formation of the main fault, which, due to the low permeability of the tectonites, is in most cases marked by the lowest concentration of soil radon. The contrast of the emanation anomalies, which we suggest to estimate in terms of a relative parameter K Q , gravitates to certain levels of this parameter. This provides the basis for distinguishing five groups of the fault zones with low (K Q ≤ 2), moderate (2 < K Q ≤ 3), increased (3 < K Q ≤ 5), high (5 < K Q ≤ 10), and ultrahigh (K Q > 10) radon activity. The previous studies show that for increasing the efficiency of the emanation survey in the fault zones, it is advisable to set up long profiles, reduce the measurement step in the vicinities of the main faults, specify the threshold of identifying the anomalies at the arithmetic mean level over the profile, and use the relative parameter K Q for comparing and estimating the faults in terms of the intensity of their radon activity.

Keywords

Radon Fault Zone Solid Earth Radon Concentration Main Fault 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of the Earth’s CrustSiberian Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesIrkutskRussia

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