We began continuous monitoring of H2 concentration in soil along the San Andreas and Calaveras faults in central California in December 1980, using small H2/O2 fuel-cell sensors. Ten monitoring stations deployed to date have shown that anomalous H2 emissions take place occasionally in addition to diurnal changes. Among the ten sites, the Cienega Winery site has produced data that are characterized by very small diurnal changes, a stable baseline, and remarkably distinct spike-like H2 anomalies since its installation in July 1982. A major peak appeared on 1-10 November 1982, and another on 3 April 1983, and a medium peak on 1 November 1983. The occurrences of these peaks coincided with periods of very low seismicity within a radius of 50 km from the site. In order to methodically assess how these peaks are related to earthquakes, three H2 degassing models were examined. A plausible correlational pattern was obtained by using a model that (1) adopts a hemicircular spreading pattern of H2 along an incipient fracture plane from the hypocenter of an earthquake, (2) relies on the FeO-H2O reaction for H2 generation, and (3) relates the accumulated amount of H2 to the mass of serpentinization of underlying ophiolitic rocks; the mass was tentatively assumed to be proportional to the seismic energy of the earthquake. ?? 1985 Birkha??user Verlag.
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Anomalous hydrogen emissions from the San Andreas fault observed at the Cienega Winery, central California