Articles | Volume 11, issue 7
Research article
06 Jul 2011
Research article |  | 06 Jul 2011

Soil-gas radon monitoring in an active granite quarry from central Portugal

A. J. S. C. Pereira, S. M. Barbosa, L. J. P. F. Neves, and F. Aumento

Abstract. Seven soil-gas radon monitoring stations were placed along the active front of a granite quarry in Canas de senhorim, Central Portugal, recording continuously for 81 days. Important differences in the radon concentration were found between stations, with average values comprised between 102 and 2982 Bq m−3, which can be explained by the local presence of uranium anomalies in the regional late-orogenic Hercynian granite, usually associated with faults. One of the boreholes exhibits large radon anomalies lasting for several days, and two, contrary to the others, show a clear daily periodic behaviour, with minima around 19:00 LT and maxima around 07:00 LT. The different patterns observed in stations placed at such a short distance (<100 m) has no clear explanation and deserves further investigation. Data analysis shows no evidence of soil-gas radon concentration changes during explosions carried out at the quarry. This is likely to result from the absence of a progressive stress field affecting the rock, as typically occurs before an earthquake.