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Speciation Gamma-Spectrometry: the Fate of Environmental Radio-Nuclides in Hard-Water Lakes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics.
2005 (English)In: Physica scripta. T, ISSN 0281-1847, Vol. T118, 35- p.Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A sequential fractionation method for simultaneous and absolute measurement of environmental radio-nuclides, 241Am, 210Pb, 226Ra, 137Cs, 40K and 234Th/238U, by gamma-spectrometry was tested and applied to hard-water lake-sediments. The carbonate, fulvic, humic and mineral insoluble fractions were extracted from the sediments. Correction of self-absorption and geometrical effects, arising from the conditioning of bulk and fractionated sediments, were done using Monte Carlo simulations. This "non-destructive" fractionation procedure allows further analysis of other chemical species in the same fractions thus creating possibilities to study the dynamics of self-cleaning mechanism in lakes. The results demonstrate that the procedure is quantitative and suitable for the determination of environmental key radio-tracers in different fractions. Unlike other fresh-water sediments the major part of the environmental radio-nuclides is associated with "mineral" fractions. This speciation gamma-spectrometry procedure was supplemented by isotope-dilution alpha-spectrometry 210Po (210Pb), for determining the acid-soluble organic fractions in fresh-water lakes. The overall speciation procedure demonstrated that carbonate fractions, extracted from hard-water lake sediments, could be separated either free from, or associated with, fulvic-compounds. This speciation procedure can be applied to other aquatic deposits, however supplementary steps can be added if other data are required.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. T118, 35- p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-90008DOI: 10.1238/Physica.Topical.118a00035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-90008DiVA: diva2:162012
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04 Last updated: 2013-06-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Optimisation of environmental gamma spectrometry using Monte Carlo methods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optimisation of environmental gamma spectrometry using Monte Carlo methods
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Dissertation in Environmental Physics to be publicly examined in Häggsalen (Ångström Laboratory), Uppsala University, on Friday, November 8, 2002 at 10:00 am for the degree of doctor of philosophy in Physics. The examination will be conducted in English.

Gamma spectrometry is one of the tools commonly used for the measurement of various environmental radionuclides. Simultaneous determination of the absolute activity of gamma emitting radiotracers in a wide range of environmental matrices and fractions necessitates proper and accurate evaluation of the sample-to-detector efficiency. Several radiotracers require, in addition, the use of sub-routines for self-absorption corrections.

Gamma spectrometry is an important and elegant tool for assessing environmental changes. Optimisation of ultra low-level gamma spectrometry for reliable assessment of such changes requires harmonisation of laboratory needs with sampling and site conditions.

Different aspects of the calculation of sample-to-detector efficiencies using empirical and Monte Carlo approaches are discussed here, including the uncertainties related to the simulation of the performance of different HPGe detectors and the effects of the incomplete collection of charges in Ge-crystals. Various simulation codes for the computation of peak efficiencies in planar and well Ge-detectors have been developed from scratch. The results of the simulations have been tested against experimental data and compared to other simulation results obtained with the Monte Carlo N-Particle code (MCNP). The construction of calibration sources with improved absorption and collimation characteristics have been, also, described in this work. These sources have been especially designed for the efficiency calibration of Ge-detectors at energies below 100 keV.

Flexible, fully tested and prototype approaches for the evaluation of self-absorption corrections, based on Monte Carlo simulations, are described. Special consideration is given to the problems related to the sample's variability in size, density and composition. Several examples of the absolute and simultaneous determination of environmental multitracers which benefited from self-absorption corrections and the optimised efficiency calibration algorithms are, also, presented and discussed. These examples include, among other things, a comprehensive analysis of the gamma spectrometry of 234Th in a wide range of matrices and the speciation of several radionuclides in sediments from a hard-water lake.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2002. 64 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 751
Physics, Gamma spectrometry, Environmental multitracers, Monte Carlo simulations, HPGe detectors, Efficiency calibration, Self-absorption corrections., Fysik
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-2672 (URN)91-554-5399-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2002-11-08, Häggsalen (Ångström Laboratory), Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2002-10-04 Created: 2002-10-04 Last updated: 2014-01-21Bibliographically approved

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