Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
17 Jun 2010
 | 17 Jun 2010

Soil-gas radon/helium surveys in some neotectonic areas of NW Himalayan foothills, India

S. Mahajan, V. Walia, B. S. Bajwa, A. Kumar, S. Singh, N. Seth, S. Dhar, G. S. Gill, and T. F. Yang

Abstract. The present research is aimed at accessing the relationship between variation in the soil gases radon (222Rn) and helium (4He) and recently developed fissures and other neotectonic features in Nurpur and Nadha areas of the NW Himalayas, India. Two soil-gas surveys were conducted on/near known faults to reconfirm their position using soil gas technique and to check their present activity. During these surveys, soil-gas samples were collected along traverses crossing the observed structures. The data analysis reveals that the concentrations of radon and helium along the Dehar lineament and the longitudinal profile (Profile D) are very high compared to any other thrust/lineament of the Nurpur area. The Nadha area shows high values of radon and helium concentrations along/near the Himalayan Frontal Fault (HFF) as compared to the adjoining areas. This indicates the presence of some buried fault/fault zone running parallel to the HFF, not exposed to the surface and not delineated by satellite data but is geochemically active and might be tectonically active too. Hence, soil helium and radon gas patterns have been combined with morphological and geological observations to supply useful constraints for deformation of tectonic environments.