Laboratory for Investigation of Radon Phenomena

In charge: Dr. Gideon Steinitz


Peter Kotlarsky, Oksana Piatibratova

Complex and unexplained temporal variation patterns and signals of radon are known from the subsurface geogas in the geological environment. In the lab these phenomena are investigated and characterized by experimental simulation under controlled conditions. The investigations enable:
a) identification of processes driving the unique variations – geophysical and/or environmental, originating from near- and far-field influences
b) developing and calibration of instrumental configurations for performing advanced measurements in the geological environment.
The lab is the first of its kind and the only one dealing with this issue.

Types of analyses:
Measuring the temporal variation of nuclear radiation from enhanced radon (in air) within confined volumes. Several experiments are conducted in parallel to elucidate the variation in the 3D-time dimensions. Measurement is performed with directional arrays of alpha and gamma detectors, at a time resolution of 1 minute.



Experiment within closed confines

The experiment consists of a sealed 0.64 m3 metal tank filled with 0.4m of ground phosphorite (376 kg; 175 ppm U) serving as the Rn source. Rn in the overlying air volume (384 liters) is released from the natural rock and is maintained in contact with it. Vertical internal sensors consist of gamma-C (within a lead pipe) and two alpha detectors at two levels – alpha-H and alpha-L. Gamma-C detects gamma rays originating from Rn in the air volume and from the upper 0.2 m of the phosphate (U, K, and Th - stable). Alpha-H and alpha-L detect alpha particles from Rn in their ~50 cc sampling cup. The data consists of gamma and alpha measurements of natural phosphate rocks in a closed container. The environmental parameters of temperature and pressure were also collected.  


Initial results and additional information are given in the reportExperimental replication of radon signals that occur in the geological environment”. Steinitz, G., Piatibratova, O., 2008.  Israel. Geol. Surv. Rep. GSI/17/08, 45 p.


The one hour sample rate data set that was collected during 2007-2017 can be downloaded.


Data Set For Downloading


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