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Optimising sampling strategies for emergency response: Soil sampling

Highlights•The novel approach for optimising soil sampling strategies in areas affected by radionuclides is suggested.•Variability of the terrestrial density of contamination with 137Cs did not depend on the mean contamination density, the type of radioactive deposition and the landscape features.•Value of 137Cs activity concentrations in the soil samples were statistically independent when sampling points were situated at a distance larger than 1 m one from each other.•The mean value of standard deviation calculated for all sites studied was estimated.•A simple method was developed for assessing minimum sample sizes required for estimation of the median or the geometric mean of radionuclide soil contamination with a relative uncertainty set by the user.AbstractThe novel approach for optimising soil sampling strategies in areas affected by radionuclides is suggested. Major factors influencing the efficiency of soil sampling strategies, including (number of samples, sampling area size, sampling depth and spatial resolution of the sample sites are examined to provide optimisation of the soil sampling plan. The experimental field studies to validate the suggested approach were performed in 25 sampling units ranging from 1.2 × 1.2 m to 60 × 60 m size. The sampling units were selected on arable farmlands, natural meadow and former agricultural land), as well as coniferous and deciduous forests with contamination density of 137Cs ranging from 2.8 kBq·m−2 to 24.5 MBq·m−2. The studied areas were contaminated by both the global fallout and the Chernobyl radioactive particles of different types. To determine the values of standard deviation of the log of the soil contamination density of 137Cs, 25 to 256 soil samples were collected with an increment of 0.07–10 m within each sampling unit. It was found that the values of standard deviation of the log of the soil contamination density of 137Cs were not dependent on the mean contamination density, the type of radioactive deposition and the landscape features. The mean value of standard deviation calculated for all sites studied was estimated as 0.44 ± 0.15 and 0.30 ± 0.10 for the sampling area 0.001 m2 (∅37 mm) and 0.005 m2 (∅80 mm) at the relative measurement uncertainties lower than 10% (CI = 95%). Concentrations of 137Cs in the soil samples were statistically independent when sampling points were situated at a distance larger than 1 m one from each other. A simple method was developed for assessing minimum sample sizes required for estimation of the median or the geometric mean of radionuclide soil contamination with a relative uncertainty set by the user. The approach was also suggested for estimation of the uncertainty of soil contamination for the case of composite samples. The approach was implemented in the Ukrainian national requirements for assessment of quality of the soil.

استراتژی‌های نمونه‌برداری فشرده برای پاسخ به موارد اضطراری: نمونه‌گیری خاک

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