Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376160

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

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Neutron-gamma technology for soil elemental analysis and mapping (part 2)

item Kavetskiy, Aleksandr
item YAKUBOVA, GALINA - Auburn University
item SARGSYAN, N. - Auburn University
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item Torbert, Henry - Allen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/19/2021
Publication Date: 11/1/2021
Citation: Kavetskiy, A.G., Yakubova, G., Sargsyan, N., Prior, S.A., Torbert III, H.A. 2021. Neutron-gamma technology for soil elemental analysis and mapping (part 2)[abstract]. International Conference on Agricultural Soil Science and Soil Analysis (ICASSSA 2021). San Francisco, CA. Nov 1-2. In XV. 2021 International Research Conference Proceedings. pp. 83-84.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Our presentation at ICASSSA2020: XIV will consider the application of neutron-gamma analysis for soil elemental determinations and discuss advantages of this method over traditional chemical analysis. Measurement data combined with geographical coordinates, via a geographical information system (i.e., ArcGIS), produces elemental distribution maps suitable for agricultural purposes. While soil elements such as Si, C, Fe, O, Al, K, N, Cl (soil Cl contamination) and H (soil moisture) can be assessed with this method, we will primarily discuss soil carbon (C) analysis and mapping. Results of C analyses were received from measuring the inelastic neutron scattering (INS) gamma spectra. Analysis of H, Fe, N, and Cl, for which the gamma response appears due to thermal neutron capture (TNC), will also be discussed in this presentation. Analysis of the gamma response and determination of soil moisture (H), Fe, N, and Cl content was done with the aid of Monte-Carlo (MC) computer simulations of neutron propagation in soil and registration of the gamma response by gamma detectors. The Geant4 toolkit (widely used in nuclear physics) was utilized in MC simulations. These simulations are a mechanism for assessing soil elemental content from measured gamma spectra. Comparison between neutron-gamma analysis and chemical analysis results showed good agreement. This presentation will describe the physics behind the neutron gamma analysis method, the main characteristics of the measurement system, and the algorithm utilized for map construction. Carbon mapping along with H, Fe, N, and Cl elemental distribution maps resulting from field surveys will be presented and discussed.