Radon Gas Concentration in Underground Water in Jeddah Area, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

SGS-DF-2006-6 Anwar A. Al-Showail, Hisham I. Hashim, Ehab Al-Ashy, Nasir S. Al-Sa’edie, Rami A. Yamani, Mazin A. Zeiban, and Hani S. Da’ajam.
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Jeddah is considered one of the main cities on the Red Sea coast.  It hosts many giant projects, commercial markets, in addition to being the main seaport on the western coast of Saudi Arabia. Ground geophysical studies have shown indications of the occurrence of three land faults extending from the Red Sea to the contiguous land mass, as well as another northwest-northeast-trending large fault that separates the Paleozoic basement and the Cenozoic deposits. The technology of measurement of radon gas in water wells in Jeddah was used in wells ranging in depth from 7 m to 10 m to monitor the level of groundwater.  The total number of wells is about 60 wells of which 47 wells are suitable for conducting measurement. Results have shown that the elevated measurements of radon gas are concentrated in the northwestern part of the city with a high of 341 pci/L and an average concentration of radon gas in wells of 120 pci/L after making the appropriate corrections.  No consideration was made for the temperature of groundwater, or for the depth of water inside the wells, nor the simultaneity of this information with the tide, and ebb movement in the Red Sea.  The results were compared with structural map of the city and have shown good conformity of elevated concentrations of radon gas and a potential location of the conjunction of three buried recent faults that could be seismically active, but in a simple way, or it could be positively affected by the movement of the Arabian Plate that led to the rifting of the Red Sea.  Accordingly, the study recommended monitoring radon gas level in three wells located in the area of interest.  Monitoring shall include taking weekly measurements over a six months period, for comparison with the seismic activity recorded in the Kingdom by SGS Seismic Monitoring Center, in particular in the Red Sea area.



Al-Showail, A.A., Hashim, H.I., Al-Ashy, E., Al-Sa’edie, N.S., Yamani, R.A., Zeiban, M.A., and Da’ajam, H.S., 2006, Radon gas concentration in underground water in Jeddah area, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey Data-File Report SGS-DF-2006-6, 20 p.