Hydrogen Release: New Indicator of Fault Activity

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Science  10 Oct 1980:
Vol. 210, Issue 4466, pp. 188-190
DOI: 10.1126/science.210.4466.188


The hydrogen concentration in soil gas has been measured in the area around the Yamasaki Fault, one of the active faults in southwestern Japan. Degassing of a significant amount of hydrogen (up to more than 3 percent by volume) has been observed for sites along the fault zone. The hydrogen concentration in soil gas at sites away from the fault zone was about 0.5 part per million, almost the same as that found in the atmosphere. The spatial distribution of sites with high hydrogen concentrations is quite systematic. A hypothesis on the production of hydrogen by fault movements is postulated.