Radon concentrations in soil gas were measured by the track-etch method in 60 shallow holes, each 70 cm deep and supported by a capped plastic tube, along several major faults in central California during 1975-1985. This set of data was analyzed to investigate the seasonal variability of soil-gas radon concentration in an area which has various geological conditions but similar climate. The results show several different patterns of seasonal variations, but all of which can be largely attributed to the water-saturation and moisture-retention characteristics of the shallow part of the soil. During the rainy winter and spring seasons, radon tended to be confined underground by the water-saturated surface soil which had much reduced gas permeability, while during the sunny summer and autumn seasons, it exhaled more readily as the soil became drier and more permeable. At several sites located on creeping faults, the radon-variation patterns changed with time, possibly because of disturbance of site condition by fault movement. ?? 1994.
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Seasonal variability of soil-gas radon concentration in central California