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[en] Full text: Mr. Arsenio Toloza, in charge of maintenance and radioisotope determinations at the Soil Science Unit, participated in the European Training Course for Gamma Vision Software which was held in Meerbusch, Germany to improve his knowledge in evaluating and analyzing spectrum, reviewing report and display result graphically. Twelve participants from Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria attended this five-day Training Course. The course was conducted by instructors involved in the design and programming of Gamma Vision. Gamma Vision is one of the main high purity germanium (HPGe) spectroscopy software programmes. This software controls the acquisition and analysis of data collected from HPGe detectors and it allows identification of nuclides by gamma energy emission to quantify the activity concentrations. It is a fully functional windows programme for any PC environment and it includes patented True Coincidence Summing Corrections and Auto Calibration. It is compatible with a complete range of electronics and HPGe detectors. (author)
[en] One of the major issues related to the use of "1"3"7Cs as a soil erosion/sedimentation tracer is the selection of the reference site which is used to estimate the initial "1"3"7Cs fallout input (also termed reference inventory). The initial "1"3"7Cs fallout input is a key component of the conversion models used to estimate erosion and sedimentation rates from the "1"3"7Cs data set. The selection and evaluation of the validity of reference sites have been explained in detail in the recent IAEA TECDOC 1741 ‘‘Guidelines for using Fallout radionuclides to assess erosion and effectiveness of soil conservation strategies’’. An investigation was carried out at the experimental research station of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), in Austria, Grabenegg (48°07'40"N, 15°13'16"E). Located at an altitude of 260 m a.s.l, with an annual average temperature of 8.4 °C and annual precipitation of 686 mm, the soil of this area has been classified as Gleyic Cambisol with a silt-loamy texture
[en] Nitrate pollution sources in water can be discriminated through the analysis of its stable δ15N and δ18O isotopes. Pseudomonas aureofaciens bacteria enzymatically convert aqueous NO3- to gaseous N2O in a process called denitrification. The gaseous N2O can then be measured on an isotopic laser spectroscope to attain concentration, as well as signatures of δ15N and δ18O isotopes, which can then be utilized as tracers to understand the sources of dissolved nitrate. The advantages of the denitrifier method compared to existing nitrate isotope discrimination methods are the small sample volume required, that no toxic chemicals are added, and that it can be used for samples with low concentrations. In addition to providing robust analysis, the laser spectroscopy method can be customized to accommodate a large sample input. Furthermore, this method is applicable in both, freshwater and seawater, and can be easily applied to any water sample sources with a nitrate contamination concentration of 2ppm and above. This SOP was developed to provide illustrated guidance for determining the δ15N and δ18O isotopic composition of nitrate (NO3-) in water samples. It provides step-by-step guidance to scientists, technicians and students implementing procedures and tools to prepare samples for isotope analysis. Determination of the stable nitrogen isotope composition allows Member States to better determine and understand the sources and forms of nitrate for improved water and nutrient management practices.
[en] The European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2015 that took place at the Austria Center of Vienna, from 12-17 April 2015, was a big success with 4870 oral, 8489 poster, and 705 PICO (Presenting Interactive COntent™) presentations as well as 11837 scientists attending from 108 different countries. This year again, the activities of the SWMCN Laboratory were well represented with 3 PICO presentations during the SSS12.10 session (i.e. Soil and sediment tracing techniques for understanding environmental processes)
[en] Full text: As of November 2017, 3850 plant, soil and water samples were analysed for stable isotopes and 200 samples were measured for fallout radionuclides in the SWMCN Laboratory. Most analyses were carried out to support Research and Development activities at the SWMCNL focusing on the design of affordable isotope and nuclear techniques to improve soil and water management in climate-smart agriculture. Analytical support has also been given to the Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory with about 65 samples analysed. In 2017, major focus of the SWMCN Laboratory has been on stable isotope measurements of greenhouse gases (13C-CO2 and 15N-N2O) through laser isotope analysers. (author)
[en] Full text: 7Be methodology can be a very useful soil tracer in the implementation of short term erosion/sedimentation studies. However, the main limitation in the use of 7Be is the need to restrict soil sample collection to shallow depths due to its superficial deposit on the topsoil. To address this limitation, the Soil Science Unit in collaboration with the Seibersdorf mechanical workshop developed a new tool - the FSIC (Fine Soil Increment Collector; Figures 1 and 2) This equipment has been successfully field tested at Seibersdorf and in Mistelbach, Austria. (author)
[en] This TECDOC consists of five sections. The first section introduces the concepts and assumptions behind the technique; the second section details the sampling strategy to optimise its field applications; the third section gives precise information on how to prepare and analyse soil and sediment samples collected; the fourth and fifth sections provide guidance on data treatment and interpretation of the results obtained.
[en] The objective of this course was to train the fellows in the use of Fallout Radionuclides (FRNs) with an emphasis on the application of the radio-caesium tracer technique (i.e. 137Cs) to study soil erosion. The training aimed to transfer to the participants knowledge on tracking and quantifying soil redistribution at various spatial and temporal scales (from field to watershed scale) to improve soil resource sustainability and evaluate the effectiveness of soil conservation measures
[en] Full text: In 2019, 3780 samples were analysed for stable isotopes and 300 samples were measured for fallout radionuclides respectively in the SWMCN Laboratory. Most analyses were carried out for supporting Research and Development activities at the SWMCNL focused on the design of affordable isotope and nuclear techniques to improve soil and water management in climate-smart agriculture. Analytical support has also been given to the Insect Pest Control Laboratory with about 180 samples analysed. (author)
[en] Full text: In 2018, 3670 samples were analysed for stable isotopes and 300 FRN samples were measured for fallout radionuclides respectively in the SWMCN Laboratory. Most analyses were carried out for supporting Research and Development activities at the SWMCNL focused on the design of affordable isotope and nuclear techniques to improve soil and water management for climate-smart agriculture. Analytical support has been given also to the Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory with about 50 samples and to the Insect Pest Control Laboratory with about 470 samples analysed. (author)