Shmulik Marco The School of Geosciences

The behavior of Radon in natural and in enhanced confined mode

This research was initiated by Dr. Gideon Steinitz (Gidi) of the Israel Geological Survey as part of his nearly three-decade-long endeavor to understand the radon behavior as a proxy for geophysical processes.

Gidi passed away on July 14, 2018.


The research was carried out by MSc students Orr Rose Bezaly and Tal Asperil, supervised by Gidi Steinitz, Peter Israelevich, and Shmulik Marco. Uri Malik and Peter Kotlarsky provided technical support and Oksana Piatibratova carried out computations and data management.


Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas. It is generated within mineral grains, and has been used for a variety of geoscience applications, e.g., as earthquakes precursor, tectonic stress proxy, tracer in marine environment and more.

Tal analyzes measurements in the marine environment at the shore of the Gulf of Elat/Aqaba and compare them to the radon behaviour  in an excavated 150 m-long tunnel in Mount Amram.

Orr observed deviations from the expected steady state of radon in a closed steel cylinder, fluctuations that are significant relative to the uncertainty in measurements including dominant daily peaks.