Study on active tectonic faults using soil radon gas method in Viet Nam

Pham Tich Xuan*, Nguyen Van Pho, Vu Van Chinh, Pham Thanh Dang, Nguyen Thi Lien, Doan Thu Tra, Hoang Tuyet Nga, Bui Van Quynh, Nguyen Van Luan, Nguyen Xuan Qua
Author affiliations


  • Pham Tich Xuan* Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Nguyen Van Pho Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Vu Van Chinh Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Pham Thanh Dang Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Nguyen Thi Lien Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Doan Thu Tra Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Hoang Tuyet Nga Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Bui Van Quynh Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Nguyen Van Luan Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
  • Nguyen Xuan Qua Institute of Geological Sciences, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology



Radon, Active Fault, Radon activity index, Thac Ba, Song Tranh 2, Ninh Thuan


This paper presents the results of soil radon gas measurement in three areas, including Thac Ba and Song Tranh 2 hydropower plants, and the planned locations of the nuclear power plants Ninh Thuan 1&2 using solid-state nuclear track detectors (SSNTD) with the aim of clarifying the activity of tectonic faults in these areas. The activity of tectonic faults was assessed through radon activity index KRn (the ratio between anomaly and threshold), which was divided into 5 levels as follows ultra-high (KRn> 10), high (10≥KRn> 5), high (5≥KRn> 3), medium (3≥KRn> 2) and low (KRn≤2). Soil radon gas measurement results showed that in the radon gas concentrations in the Thac Ba hydropower plant area ranged from 72 Bq/m3 to 273.133 Bq/m3 and maximum radon activity index KRn reached 9.75 (high level). High KRn indexes show Chay River fault active in recent time and the sub-meridian distribution of Rn anomalies suggested a right-slip motion of the fault. Rn concentrations in the Ninh Thuan 1&2 areas ranged from 6 Bq/m3 to 52.627 Bq/m3, however, the KRn indexes were mostly low (KRn≤3) and the highest value was only 3.42, suggesting that expression of activity of the tectonic faults in this region is not clear, even no expression of fault activity. In the Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant and adjacent areas, radon concentrations ranged from 29 Bq/m3 to 77.729 Bq/m3 and maximum KRn index was 20.16 (ultra-high level). The faults having clearer activity expression are Hung Nhuong - Ta Vy, Song Tra Bong and some high order faults, especially the northwest - southeast segments of these faults or their intersections with the northwest - southeast faults. In addition, the high values KRn in the mentioned intersections can be evidenced for the activeness of northwest - southeast faults at the present time. The studies on active faults using soil radon gas method were performed in areas with very different geological and structural features, but the results are well consistent with the results of previous investigations obtained by other methods. It confirmed the effectiveness and capability of soil radon gas geochemistry applying to study active tectonic faults.


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How to Cite

Xuan*, P. T., Pho, N. V., Chinh, V. V., Dang, P. T., Lien, N. T., Tra, D. T., Nga, H. T., Quynh, B. V., Luan, N. V., & Qua, N. X. (2017). Study on active tectonic faults using soil radon gas method in Viet Nam. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, 39(1), 27–46.




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