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Observation of Reactive Transport in Soil Columns with Positron Emission Tomography (GeoPET)

Kulenkampff, Johannes; Stoll, Madeleine; Gründig, Marion; Mansel, Alexander; Lippmann-Pipke, Johanna

Here we investigate reactive transport in soils with GeoPET as quantitative spatiotemporal molecular imaging method. As PET directly yields tracer concentrations, the data can be utilised for parameterization and validation of reactive transport computer models.

Artificial soil columns (sand/silt/clay/Goethit, length 90 mm, diameter 40 mm) have been prepared under CO2-atmosphere. Four different experiments on one and the same soil column are shown as motion pictures from the GeoPET-observations:

1) Injection of water, labelled with [18F]KF, into the CO2-saturated column

2) Conservative transport of [18F]KF solution through the water-saturated column

3) Injection of the reactive tracer [64Cu]Cu(MCPA)2 into the unconditioned water-saturated column

4) Injection of the reactive tracer [64Cu]Cu(MCPA)2 into the preconditioned column.


The study was supported within the framework of the priority program “Biogeochemical Interfaces in Soil” by the German Science Foundation (DFG SPP 1315: KE508/19 and LI872/5).



Kulenkampff, J., Zakhnini, A., Gründig, M., and Lippmann-Pipke, J.: Quantitative experimental monitoring of molecular diffusion in clay with positron emission tomography, Solid Earth, 7, 1207-1215, 2016.

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Kulenkampff, J., Gründig, M., Zakhnini, A., and Lippmann-Pipke, J.: Geoscientific process monitoring with positron emission tomography (GeoPET), Solid Earth, 7, 1217–1231, 2016.

Zakhnini, A., Kulenkampff, J., Sauerzapf, S., Pietrzyk, U., and Lippmann-Pipke, J.: Monte Carlo simulations of GeoPET experiments: 3D images of tracer distributions (18F, 124I and 58Co) in Opalinus Clay, anhydrite and quartz, Comput. Geosci., 57, 183–196, 2013.

Lippmann-Pipke, J., Gerasch, R., Schikora, J., and Kulenkampff, J.: Benchmarking PET for geoscientific applications: 3D quantitative diffusion coefficient estimation in clay rock, Comput. Geosci. 101, 21-27, 2017.

Stoll, M., Kulenkampff, J., Gründig, M., Lippmann-Pipke, J., and Kersten, M.: Molecular positron emission tomography imaging of Cu mobility enhanced by the herbicide 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy-acetic acid in a soil column, submitted

Lippold, H., Karimzadeh L., Kulenkampff, J. Wissmeier, L., Stuhlfauth, C., Stoll, M., Lippmann-Pipke, L.: Effect of pH on the mobility of the herbicide MCPA in a goethite-sand matrix: 1D and 2D reactive transport modelling, to be submitted


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