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The activity of the Environmental Geochemistry and Geochemical Mapping laboratory (GASLAB) is focused on the study on the gas migration processes from shallow and deep geological sources to the surface environment, and their interactions with geosphere, biosphere and atmosphere, as well as with human activity. In particular, the activity is mainly focused on the study of the origin, the analysis of the molecular composition and the spatial distribution of gases occurring in the interstitial soil pore spaces, of the dissolved gases in groundwater, as well as on the measurements of the gas exhalation flux from the soil.

The GASLAB research activity is conducted in different fields of the Geosciences:

Environmental/geological risks:

  • measurements, quantification and mapping (also in urban areas) of non-volcanic and volcanic gas emissions (CO2, CH4 and H2S) for environmental and health protection;
  • measurement of endogenous gas emissions in areas at risk of natural and anthropogenic (in urban areas)
  • measuring the geogenic radon and thoron (222Rn and 220Rn) potential in soil/rocks and groundwater to quantify the radon risk of an area and to map radon priority areas according to art. 103 of the EU Directive 2013/59/EURATOM (EU-BSS)
  • monitoring and mapping of indoor radon and thoron (222Rn and 220Rn) in buildings, cellars and caves to predict the probability of exceeding the Action Level (high radon exposition) in support of the EU Directive 2013/59/EURATOM (EU-BSS)

Geochemical earthquake precursors and microzonation studies:

  • shallow measurements for mapping and monitoring of endogenous gas emissions (CO2, CH4, H2, H2S, Rn and He) for the identification and study of buried/exposed active faults in seismogenic areas

Global changes:

  • measurements and bottom-up quantification of natural (CH4 and CO2 from gas seeps) and anthropogenic (CH4 from boreholes, pipelines) greenhouse gas emissions


  • site selection and monitoring for CO2 geological sequestration, hydrocarbon and geothermal exploration researches.
Location + _

Area della Ricerca di Roma 1 - Montelibretti, Via Salaria km 29,300 - 00015 Monterotondo (RM)

Scientific manager + _
Dott. Giancarlo Ciotoli
Security officer + _
Dott. Giancarlo Ciotoli
Telephone + _
+39. 06.90672608 /  +39. 06.90672909

The GASLAB is equipped with the following portable measuring devices. The goal is to provide and develop innovative analytical and experimental methods in order to improve the quality and quantity of measurements, reducing acquisition times, facilitating the availability of the data collected, and using the most recent techniques for the data processing and interpretation.

  • Dräger X-am® 7000 (Dräger Italia SpA) for the simultaneous and continuous measurement of up to five gases:
  • INSPECTRA® LASER (Gazomat) methane gas leak portable analyzer with laser spectroscopy.
  • EGM-5 Portable CO2 Gas Analyzer (PP Systems), for soil CO2/O2 concentration and CO2 flux measurements
  • RAD7 Radon/Thoron Detector (Durridge, Inc.), Real-time Continuous Radon Monitor with Spectral Analysis
  • AlphaE Ultra Small Radon Monitor (Bertin Instruments), professional meter for Radon concentration, personal exposure and doses.
  • Radon Scout Home (Sarad GmbH), device for long-term monitoring of the legal reference value for the radon concentration in indoor air (with CO2 sensor).
  •  Development of a Geogenic Radon Hazard Index—Concept, History, Experiences
    Bossew P., Cinelli G., Ciotoli G., Crowley Q.G., De Cort M., Elío Medina J., Gruber V., Petermann E., Tollefsen T.
    Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health,17(11), 4134; doi: 10.3390/ijerph17114134
  •  Influence of tectonics on global scale distribution of geological methane emissions
    Ciotoli G., Procesi M., Etiope G., Fracassi U., Ventura G.
    Nature Comunications, 11, 2305, doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16229-1
  •  Increased methane emission from natural gas seepage at Katakolo Harbour (Western Greece)
    Kordella S., Ciotoli G., Dimas X., Papatheodorou G., Etiope G.
    Applied Geochemistry, 116, 1-7, doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2020.104578

  • European Atlas of Natural Radiation.
  •  Achatz, M., Ajtić, J., Ballabio, C., Barnet, I., Bochicchio, F., Borelli, P., Bossew, P., Braga, R., Brattich, E., Briganti, A., Carpentieri, C., Castellani, C., Castelluccio, M., Chiaberto, E., Ciotoli, G., Coletti, C., Cucchi, A., Daraktchieva, Z., Di Carlo, C., De France, J., Dehandschutter, B., Domingos, F., Dudar, T., Elio, J., Falletti, P., Ferreira, A., Finne, I., Fontana, C., Fuente Merino, I., Galli, G., Garcia-Talavera, M., German, O., Grossi, C., Gruber, V., Gutierrez-Villanueva, J., Hansen, M., Hernandez Ceballos, M., Hoffmann, M., Hurst, S., Iurlaro, G., Ivanova, K., Jobbagy, V., Jones, A., Kovalenko, G., Kozak, K., Lawley, R., Lehné, R., Lister, B., Long, S., Lucchetti, C., Magnoni, M., Matolin, M., Mazur, J., Mazzoli, C., Mclaughlin, J., Mollo, M., Mostacci, D., Mundigl, S., Nesbor, D., Neves, L., Neznal, M., Nikolov, J., Nilsson, P., Nogarotto, A., Onischenko, A., Orgiazzi, A., Pacherová, P., Panagos, P., Pereira, A., Perez, M., Pokalyuk, V., Pressyanov, D., Quindós Poncela, L., Ringer, W., Rossi, F., Sangiorgi, M., Sassi, R., Simic, Z., Smedley, P., Socciarelli, S., Soligo, M., Stoulos, S., Szabo, K., Täht-Kok, K., Todorović, N., Tolton, R., Tuccimei, P., Turtiainen, T., Tye, A., Udovicic, V., Vasilyev, A., Venoso, G., Verdelocco, S., Verkhovtsev, V., Voltaggio, M., Zhukova, O. and Zhukovsky, M.
    Cinelli, G., De Cort, M. and Tollefsen, T. editor(s), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2019, JRC116795; (ISBN): 978-92-76-08258-3 (online), 978-92-76-08259-0 (print); Doi: 10.2760/46388 (online)
  • Mapping the geogenic radon potential and radon risk by using Empirical Bayesian Kriging regression: a case study from a volcanic area of central Italy
    Giustini F., Ciotoli G., Rinaldini A., Ruggiero L., Voltaggio M.
    Science of the Total Environment., STOTEN 30460, 661, 449-464, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.146
  • Sediment-Hosted Geothermal Systems: review and first global mapping
    Procesi M., Ciotoli G., Mazzini A., Etiope G.
    Earth Science Review, 192, 529-544, doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2019.03.020
  •  Gridded maps of geological methane emissions and their isotopic signature
    Etiope G., Ciotoli G., Schwietzke S, Schoell M.
    Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., 11, 1-22, doi: 10.5194/essd-11-1-2019, 201

  • A GIS-based procedure for preliminary mapping of pluvial flood risk at metropolitan scale
    Di Salvo C., Pennica F., Ciotoli G., Cavinato G.P.
    Environmental Modelling and Software, 107, 64-84, doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.05.020
  •  Coeval Uplift and Subsidence Reveal Magma Recharging Near Rome (Italy).
    Trasatti E., Marra F., Polcari M., Etiope G., Ciotoli G., Darrah T.H., Tedesco D., Stramondo S., Florindo F. Ventura G.
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystem (G3), 19, 1484-1498, doi: 10.1029/2017GC007303
  •  Assessing mantle versus crustal sources for non-volcanic degassing along fault zones in the actively extending southern Apennines mountain belt (Italy)
    Ascione A., Ciotoli G., Bigi S., Buscher J., Mazzoli S., Ruggiero L. Sciarra A., Tartarello M.C., Valente E.
    GSA Bulletin (2018), 130 (9-10): 1697-1722, doi: 10.1130/B31869.1
    1. Models and tools for the characterization of underground cavities (MOSCAS)
      Objective: preparation of a methodology for managing the risk associated with the presence of natural or anthropogenic cavities in urban areas to be used in emergency conditions and to provide support tools to local authorities in the land use planning and management.
    2.  Natural gas seepage in Rome
      Objective: The project aims to carry out field surveys to detect gas seepage within selected areas of Rome city. The work will include measurements of methane in the soil, natural springs and, if possible, within subterranean caves, for example Mythraic temples, often associated with water sources and sacred sites.
    3. Project Dynamic Planet – Innovation in geophysical-geochemical methodologies for the environment (collaboration with INGV)
      Objective: quantification of the greenhouse gas emissions of geological origin and, in particular CH4, from an abandoned hydrocarbon well located in the province of Rome and estimate of the emission factor.
    4.  SourcE and impact of greeNhousE gasses in AntarctiCA (SENECA)
      Objective: analysis of the concentration and origin of gases in the soil; assessment of CO2 and CH4 output; geophysical investigations and petrographic characterization of soils and rocks; continuous monitoring of CO2 in the soil to evaluate the seasonal trend.
    5. MetroRADON – European metrology programme for innovation and research
      EMPIR Programme
      Objective: Development of reliable techniques and methodologies to allow measurements and calibrations of the radon activity concentration at low concentrations.
    6. Radon rEal time monitoring system and Proactive Indoor Remediation”
      LIFE16 ENV / IT / 000553
      Objective: To demonstrate in 4 significant areas, with different Geogenic Radon Potential in Italy and Belgium, a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution for Rn real-time measurement and remediation to keep indoor Rn levels below 100 Bq/m3 level (as indicated in European Directive 2013/59/EURATOM).
    7. Risk related to the emission of endogenous gases (CO2 dominant) for the urban planning of the areas characterized by this phenomenon.
      Objective: Construction of a shared database; Preliminary cartography of the areas at risk of endogenous gas emissions.

Collaboration with Italian universities and research institutes

  • National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Roma 2 Section (Dr. G. Etiope) and Roma 1 Section (Dr. M. Procesi, Dr. A. Sciarra)
  • National Institute for the Protection and Environmental Research (ISPRA), Geological Survey (Dr. S. Nisio)
  • University of Rome Sapienza, Earth Science Department, Laboratory of Fluid Tectonics (Prof. S. Bigi)
  • University of Padova, Department of Geosciences (Prof. R. Sassi and Prof. C. Mazzoli)
  • University of Roma TRE, Science Department (Prof. P. Tuccimei)
  • University di Napoli “Federico II”, Department of Earth, Environmental and Resource Sciences (Prof. A. Ascione)
  • Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering (DICEA), Hydraulic Laboratory (Dr. M. Moroni)

Collaboration with foreign universities and research institutes

  • Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering (Prof. C. Baciu)
  • University of Patras, Dept. of Geology, Laboratory of Marine Geology and Physical Oceanography (Prof. G. Papatheodorou)
  • European Commission DG Joint Research Centre – JRC, Directorate G – Nuclear Safety & Security, Unit G.10 – Knowledge for Nuclear Safety, Security & Safeguards, Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring (REM) group (Dr. M. DE-CORT, Dr. G. Cinelli)
  • International Bureau for Environmental Studies (IBES), Belgium (Prof. J. Klerkx)
  • University of Victoria, Canada, Department of Geography (Prof. M. Whiticar)
  • The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC), Brussels, Belgium (Dr. B. Dehandschutter)
  • German Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Berlin, Germany (Dr. Peter Bossew)
  • Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), Department for Radon and Radioecology National Radon Centre of Austria Division for Radiation Protection (Dr. V. Gruber)