Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 1221–1227, 2010

Special issue: Radon, health and natural hazards

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 1221–1227, 2010

  17 Jun 2010

17 Jun 2010

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

S. Mahajan1, V. Walia2, B. S. Bajwa1, A. Kumar1, S. Singh1, N. Seth1, S. Dhar3, G. S. Gill4, and T. F. Yang2,5 S. Mahajan et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar-143005, India
  • 2National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering, NARL, Taipei-106, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Geology, Government College, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • 4Department of Geology, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India
  • 5Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei-106, Taiwan

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.