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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GLOBAL CHANGE AND BELOWGROUND PROCESSES IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Soil Carbon Analysis in Large Fields Using a Scanning System

Authors
item Wielopolski, Lucian - BROOKHAVEN NAT. LAB.
item Mitra, Sudeep - BROOKHAVEN NAT. LAB.
item Zhang, Yue - BROOKHAVEN NAT. LAB.
item TORBERT, HENRY
item PRIOR, STEPHEN

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2006
Publication Date: January 19, 2006
Citation: Wielopolski, L., Mitra, S., Zhang, Y., Torbert III, H.A., Prior, S.A. 2006. Soil carbon analysis in large fields using a scanning system [abstract]. Emerging Modalities for Soil Carbon Analysis: Sampling Statistics and Economics Workshop.

Technical Abstract: One of the issues hindering the implementation of carbon-credits trading protocols and a limiting factor in the comprehensive evaluation of large fields for carbon is the need for analyzing soil core samples in a laboratory. The procedures for careful analysis are labor-intensive, involving many steps, time consuming and prohibitively expensive when there are large numbers of samples. Therefore, there is an emerging need for novel types of instrumentation for in situ soil carbon analysis that, preferably, are non-destructive, yet able to contiguously scan large areas. One such instrument satisfying most of the requirements is an INS instrument based on gamma ray spectroscopy induced by Inelastic Neutron Scattering. This nuclear method directs fast 14 MeV neutrons at the soil where they undergo inelastic neutron scatterings stimulating characteristic gamma ray emission from the soil’s elements. The time intervals from the time neutron emission require to penetrate into the soil, stimulate gamma ray emission, and finally to detecting and recording the gamma rays are very short, from pico- up to nano-seconds. In light of the typical tractor speeds in the field of about five km/h, or double that, the system is virtually stationary relative to the nuclear events taking place. We demonstrate the viability of the INS system for scanning large fields, and present the preliminary results of multiple stationary and scanning measurements in the same field. The fields were scanned at different speeds or variable speed.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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