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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Applying Monte-Carlo simulations to optimize an inelastic neutron scattering system for soil carbon analysis

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

Submitted to: Applied Radiation And Isotopes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/4/2017
Publication Date: 7/4/2017
Citation: Yakubova, G.N., Kavetskiy, A.G., Prior, S.A., Torbert III, H.A. 2017. Applying Monte-Carlo simulations to optimize an inelastic neutron scattering system for soil carbon analysis. Applied Radiation And Isotopes. 128:237-248. doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2017.07.003.

Interpretive Summary: The evolution of methodology and instrumentation of nuclear physics allow for in situ multi-elemental analyses of soils with an inelastic neutron scattering system (INS). This INS system can assess large soil volumes, requires no sample preparation, and is non-destructive. This work evaluated INS system performance [sensitivity, minimal detectable level (MDL)] for soil carbon measurement using computer Monte-Carlo (MC) simulations. MC Simulations for different INS system modifications were conducted to design and adopt a system with improved MDL. Comparison of MC simulations with experimental results demonstrated good agreement.

Technical Abstract: Computer Monte-Carlo (MC) simulations (Geant4) of neutron propagation and acquisition of gamma response from soil samples was applied to evaluate INS system performance characteristic [sensitivity, minimal detectable level (MDL)] for soil carbon measurement. The INS system model with best performance characteristics was determined based on MC simulation results. Measurements of MDL using an experimental prototype based on this model demonstrated good agreement with simulated data. This prototype will be used as the base engineering design for a new INS system.

Last Modified: 09/22/2017
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