A novel fluorescent tracer for real-time tracing of clay transport over soil surfaces

Hardy, Robert and Pates, Jacqueline Mary and Quinton, John Norman and Coogan, Michael Peter (2016) A novel fluorescent tracer for real-time tracing of clay transport over soil surfaces. CATENA, 141. pp. 39-45. ISSN 0341-8162

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Clay is an important vector for the transport of pollutants in the environment, including nutrients, pesticides and metals; therefore, the fate of many chemicals in soil systems is closely linked to that of clay. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for clay transport has been hampered by the lack of a suitable tracer. Producing a tracer that accurately mimics clay transport is challenging, due to the small size of the particles and their unique physical properties. Here we describe the design and synthesis of a tracer using natural clay particles as a foundation, exploiting the natural ability of clay to sorb molecules to coat the clay with a thin layer of fluorophore. Application of the tracer has been demonstrated through the collection of real-time images of the tracer moving over the surface of a soil box during a rainfall event. These images allow, for the first time, clay to be tracked spatially and temporally without need to remove soil for analysis, thus resulting in minimal experimental artefacts. Custom written software has been used to extract high resolution data describing tracer movement and extent throughout the experiment.

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Journal Article
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© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? claytracingsoil erosiondiffuse pollutionfluorescencetracerearth-surface processes ??
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10 Mar 2016 08:54
Last Modified:
07 Apr 2024 23:38