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Authors: Scarlato, P.* 
Tuccimei, P.* 
Mollo, S.* 
Soligo, M.* 
Castelluccio, M.* 
Title: Contrasting radon background levels in volcanic settings: Clues from 220Rn activity concentrations measured during long-term deformation experiments
Issue Date: 2013
Series/Report no.: /75(2013)
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-013-0751-0
Keywords: Radon monitoring
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: To better understand the mechanisms leading to different radon background levels in volcanic settings, we have performed two long-term deformation experiments of 16 days using a real-time setup that enables us to monitor any variation of radon activity concentration during rock compression. Our measurements demonstrate that, in the case of highly porous volcanic rocks, the emanating power of the substrate changes as a function of the volcanic stress conditions. Constant magmatic pressures, such as those observed during dike intrusions and hydrothermal fluid injections, can result in pervasive pore collapse that is mirrored by a significant radon decrease until a constant emanation is achieved. Conversely, repeated cycles of stress due to, for example, volcano inflation/deflation cycles, cause a progressive radon increase a few days (but even weeks and months) before rupture. After rock failure, however, the formation of new emanation surfaces leads to a substantial increase of the radon signal. Our results suggest that surface deformation in tectonic and volcanic settings, such as inflation/ deflation or constant magmatic pressures, have important repercussions on the emanating power of volcanic substrates.
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