Anomalous decrease in groundwater radon before the Taiwan M6.8 Chengkung earthquake

T. Kuo, K. Fan, H. Kuochen, Y. Han, H. Chu, Y. Lee

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On December 10, 2003, an earthquake of magnitude (M) 6.8, the strongest since 1951, occurred near the Chengkung area in eastern Taiwan. Approximately 65 d prior to the 2003 Chengkung earthquake, precursory changes in the groundwater radon concentration were observed at the Antung radon-monitoring station located 20 km from the epicenter. The radon anomaly was a decrease from a background level of 28.9 Bq L-1 to a minimum of 12.2 Bq L -1. Observations at the Antung hot spring suggest that the groundwater radon, when observed under suitable geological conditions, can be a sensitive tracer for strain changes in the crust preceding an earthquake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Earthquake
  • Fault
  • Groundwater
  • Radon-222


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