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Title: "Hot background” of the mobile inelastic neutron scattering system for soil carbon analysis

item Kavetskiy, Aleksandr
item Yakubova, Galina
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item Torbert, Henry - Allen

Submitted to: Applied Radiation And Isotopes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2015
Publication Date: 1/1/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Kavetskiy, A.G., Yakubova, G.N., Prior, S.A., Torbert III, H.A. 2016. "Hot background” of the mobile inelastic neutron scattering system for soil carbon analysis . Applied Radiation And Isotopes. 107:299-311. doi 10.1016/j.apradiso.2015.11.012.

Interpretive Summary: The transfer of atmospheric carbon (CO2) to terrestrial soils is mediated by plants. The capture of atmospheric carbon via plant growth may help mitigate global change through soil carbon storage. A novel carbon measuring device called a mobile inelastic neutron scattering system (requires no soil sampling) is being investigated. The correct identification of all electronic signals is important for eliminating all signal interference (hot background) for accurate soil carbon measurements in the field. The procedures for identifying the origin of and accounting for these signals is the subject of this paper.

Technical Abstract: The problem of gamma spectrum peaks identification arises when conducting soil carbon (and other elements) analysis using the mobile inelastic neutron scattering (MINS) system. Some gamma spectrum peaks could be associated with radioisotopes appearing due to neutron activation of both the MINS system (i.e., neutron generator, gamma detector, construction materials) and soil samples. We investigated the “hot background” gamma spectra (gamma spectra measured directly after neutron activation) from the MINS system construction elements, materials and soil samples over time. How these “hot background” spectra affect peak identification and their contribution to the MINS system soil gamma spectra are the objectives of this article.