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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319491

Research Project: Enabling Management Response of Southeastern Agricultural Crop and Pasture Systems to Climate Change

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: In-situ soil carbon analysis using inelastic neutron scattering

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

Submitted to: American Chemical Society SE/SW Regional Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2015
Publication Date: 11/4/2015
Citation: Yakubova, G.N., Kavetskiy, A.G., Prior, S.A., Torbert III, H.A. 2015. In-situ soil carbon analysis using inelastic neutron scattering. Publication No. 722. Combined 71st Southwest Region Meeting/67th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society. [https://ep70.eventpilot.us/web/page.php?page=Home&project=ACSSESWRM15.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In situ soil carbon analysis using inelastic neutron scattering (INS) is based on the emission of 4.43 MeV gamma rays from carbon nuclei excited by fast neutrons. This in-situ method has excellent potential for easily measuring soil carbon since it does not require soil core sampling and processing needed by the standard dry combustion method. The INS system was developed over the last decade at Brookhaven National Laboratory with recent system improvement and field testing at the USDA-ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory. Conducting soil carbon analysis using the current INS system requires a 1 hour measurement per site area (2.5 m2). The system was calibrated over pits containing carbon-sand mixtures with different carbon contents. After data processing using the calibration line, the average weight percent in a soil layer of ~10 cm thickness is determined by the INS system computer. The average weight percent in this soil layer can be used with no a priori knowledge of carbon distribution within the soil profile. Since comparisons of INS results to dry combustion sample analysis demonstrated good agreement, the in-situ INS method can be recommended as a time-saving alternative means for measuring carbon in the upper soil layer.