Field of research:

Institution: Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Institute of Geosciences, Sedimentology, Shelf Geology
Contact: Dr. Jan Scholten
Location: GEOMAR

All environmental samples contain some traces of radioactive elements and these elements and their amounts can give important information in environmental science (Research topic Dangerous Ocean). For instance, the measurement of the radioactive elements 210Pb (T½ = 22.3 years) and 230Th (T ½ = 75,400 years) allows age-dating of marine sediments. The Alpha-Spectrometer is used for the determination of radioactive elements characterized by an alpha decay. The available spectrometer (Octéte) has eight measurement chambers. Prior to the measurements, a chemical separation of the radioactive elements of interest is required. The measurement time necessary for the analysis depends on the activity of the sample and normally ranges between one day to two weeks.