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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Using Cesium-137 to Understand Soil Cabon Redistribution

Authors
item Ritchie, Jerry
item McCarty, Gregory

Submitted to: International Aquaculture Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Great interest has developed in recent years for using agricultural soils to sequester carbon. The purpose of this study was to determine soil carbon distribution patterns on agricultural watersheds of a small first-order stream using Cesium-137. Four watersheds were sampled to determine the effects of the different management treatments (conventional farming, precision farming, and animal waste treatments) on soil carbon content and distribution. Profiles of soils in these watersheds and an adjacent riparian zone were collected in 5 cm increments and the concentration of Cesium-137 and carbon in each increment was determined. Carbon and Cesium-137 content on the soils were strongly correlated (r=0.85). Carbon content of the 0-5 cm layer of the soil profiles ranged from 0.8 to 3.0 % with an average of 1.7 plus or minus 0.6 %. Carbon content of the riparian profiles in the 0-5 cm layer ranged from 2.4 to 14.4 % with an average of 8.0 plus or minus 4.1 %. These data suggest that measurements of Cesium-137 in the surface soils can be used to determine carbon distribution patterns in surface soil of agricultural areas.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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