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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 1, issue 1
Solid Earth, 1, 99-109, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-1-99-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Solid Earth, 1, 99-109, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-1-99-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  16 Nov 2010

16 Nov 2010

Radon signals at the Roded site, Southern Israel

G. Steinitz and O. Piatibratova G. Steinitz and O. Piatibratova
  • Geological Survey of Israel, 30 Malkhe Israel St., Jerusalem 95501, Israel

Abstract. Temporal variations of radon in the geological environment (upper crust) are frequent and recognized as unique in terms of the signals encountered and for the lack of substantial and generally applicable explanations. The phenomena observed at the Roded site, located in arid southern Israel, illustrate this situation. The monitoring of radon in the last 10 years or more has been carried out in massive meta-diorite of the Precambrian basement block of Roded. The measurement is conducted using an alpha detector at a resolution of 15-min, placed in a borehole at a depth of 9 m, within a PVC casing to that depth. Systematic temporal variation patterns, manifested as large relative signals are composed of sub-diurnal (SDR) radon, multi-day (MD) and annual (AR) signals. The overall variation is dominated by the intense SDR signals which occur in some days, and may vary from background levels (5 counts or less) to peak values (attaining >1000 counts) and back to background at an interval of 6 to 12 h. Intervals of up to several tens of days without significant SDR signals interchange with times of intense daily occurrences of such signals. Their occurrence indicates very fast variations of radiation from radon at the point of measurement. The peak times, within the diurnal 24-h cycle of SDR signals occur preferentially at an interval of 14–16 h (UT+2). Spectral analysis indicates: (a) A diurnal periodicity composed of a primary 24-h and a secondary 12-h periodicity, which are attributed to the solar tide constituents S1 and S2. Tidal constituents indicative for gravity tide (O1, M2) are lacking; (b) An annual periodicity. A compound relation among the diurnal and annual periodicity is indicated by: (a) Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT) analysis shows an overall annual structure with a modulation of the S1 and S2 periodicities; (b) Moving-time-window Fourier spectral analysis showing that the amplitudes of S1 and S2 vary in an annual pattern, with relatively high values in summer. The phase of S1, S2 and S3 shows a systematic multi-year variation. It is suggested that the significant signatures of the periodic phenomena and their modulations reflect a direct link with the solar radiation tide.

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