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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Non-Destructive in Situ Soil Carbon Analysis: Principle and Results

Authors
item Wielopolski, Lucian - BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LAB.
item Mitra, Sudeep - BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LAB.
item Hendrey, George - BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LAB.
item Rogers Jr, Hugo
item Torbert, Henry
item Prior, Stephen

Submitted to: National Conference on Carbon Sequestration
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2003
Publication Date: May 5, 2003
Citation: Wielopolski, L., Mitra, S., Hendrey, G., Rogers Jr, H.H., Torbert III, H.A., Prior, S.A. 2003. Non-destructive in situ soil carbon analysis: principle and results. In Proceeding of the 2nd National Conference on Carbon Sequestration: Developing and Validating the Technology Base to Reduce Carbon Intensity. May 5-8, 2003, Alexandria, VA. 6 pp.

Interpretive Summary: Global warming is promoted by the release of CO2 into the atmosphere from such things as burning of fossil fuels. However, the release of CO2 can be partially mitigated by capturing CO2 in the form C in plants and in soil. Having a method to measure the amount of C in soil without having to dig soil samples will be very important for evaluating strategies for soil carbon stores. A system for non-destructively measuring carbon in soil, based on inelastic neutron scattering (INS), is described. The system can be operated in stationary or scanning mode and measures soil to depth of approximately 30 cm. There is a good agreement between results obtained from INS and standard chemical analysis of soil cores collected from the same study site.

Technical Abstract: Global warming is promoted by anthropogenic CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, while at the same time it is partially mitigated by carbon sequestration by terrestrial ecosystems. However, improvement in the understanding and monitoring of belowground carbon processes is essential for evaluating strategies for carbon sequestration including quantification of carbon stores for credits. A system for non-destructive in situ carbon monitoring in soil, based on inelastic neutron scattering (INS), is described. The system can be operated in stationary or scanning mode and measures soil to depth of approximately 30 cm. There is a good agreement between results obtained from INS and standard chemical analysis of soil cores collected from the same study site.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014