7Be analyses in seawater by low background gamma-spectroscopy

  • J. E. Andrews
  • C. Hartin
  • K. O. Buesseler
Environmental Radioactivity


Oceanographers use the cosmogenic radionuclide 7Be (T 1/2 53 days) as a tracer for atmospheric input and a conservative tracer of mixing in the open ocean. This paper elucidates a method for improving the analysis of 7Be from seawater. The scavenging efficiency of Fe(OH)3 for each sample is measured by ICP-MS using stable 9Be as a yield monitor. Samples are gamma-counted in a large diameter (28 mm) well detector. The high purity germanium well detector is coupled with an active anti-coincidence cosmic guard to reduce the spectra background. The improved overall accuracy of the method and lower detection limit of the detector results in a lower volume of seawater needed for analyses. Results will be shown from a study of 7Be in the Sargasso Sea.


Radon Collection Efficiency Euphotic Zone HPGe Detector Cosmic Radiation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  2. 2.Queens CollegeQueensUSA

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