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The UCL Environmental Radiometric Facility is located within the Department of Geography, University College London and uses low-background hyper-pure germanium gamma spectrometers capable of measuring low-level environmental radioactivity.
The facility currently employs two ORTEC® HPGe GWL series coaxial well-type gamma detectors and one HPGe LOAX planar coaxial detector, each housed in a 100mm thick lead shield. Resulting spectra may be analysed for different environmental radioisotopes including 210Pb, 226Ra, 137Cs, 134Cs, 241Am, 7Be and 40K.
Since 2005, when the facility was first set up, the main application has been for the radiometric dating of lake sediments and peats via the measurement of 210Pb, 137Cs and 241Am. This enables chronologies of 100 - 150 years to be accurately determined. The facility has undertaken these analyses for research projects based in many areas of the world.
This approach can also be used in a number of other ways to investigate the distribution of radioisotopes in the environment through measurements of a wide range of environmental and ecological samples.
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Last Updated: 20th January, 2014
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