Lukas Wacker: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Name Dr. Lukas Wacker
Labor für Ionenstrahlphysik (LIP)
ETH Zürich, HPK H 29
Otto-Stern-Weg 5
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 23 58
DepartmentEarth Sciences

651-4191-00LRadionuclides as Environmental Tracers3 credits2VN. Casacuberta Arola, M. Christl, L. Wacker, C. Welte
AbstractRadionuclides stemming from natural and artificial sources are powerful tools that allow gaining a better understanding of a large range of environmental processes. This course will focus on cosmogenic and anthropogenic radionuclides and will provide a general overview about common applications and the use of tracers in the environment, e.g. to understand past climatic changes and ocean currents.
ObjectiveStudents learn the basic facts about sources and fate of natural and artificial long-lived radionuclides (e.g. 14C, 26Al, 10Be, 129I 236U, Pu-isotopes, etc.). They gain insights into the different detection techniques, with special focus on accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). A selection of the numerous applications of the different radionuclides in oceanic, atmospheric and terrestrial processes will be studied.
ContentThe course will include lectures, practical exercises and two excursions, namely the opportunity to visit the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and the AMS facilities at ETH (Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics).
Lectures will cover:
- an introduction to natural and artificial radionuclides;
- a general overview of radionuclide detection, in particular AMS will be studied including a tour to the Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics;
- applications of long-lived radionuclides in the different environmental compartments (oceans, atmosphere and terrestrial environments):
o The use of 14C in oceanic, atmospheric and terrestrial studies including a tour to the WSL labs;
o applications of 10Be in ice cores and marine sediments;
o applications of nuclear wastes from nuclear accidents (e.g. Fukushima);
o controlled releases from nuclear reprocessing plants and their role in understanding oceanic processes.
Exercise classes will include an introduction to the Ocean Data View and basic course in applying box models to describe transport and mixing processes.
As an evaluation, students will have to hand in a series of exercises related to the different topics of the lecture.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe content of this course is interdisciplinary and it will benefit from students coming from different fields.
Two lab tours are organized.
This course is also well suited for Ph.D. students.
Students will need to bring their own computer that allow installing Ocean Data View.
651-4906-00LRadiocarbon Dating Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 6.
Please contact the lecturer for details immediately after subscription.
2 credits4PC. Welte, L. Wacker
AbstractRadiocarbon (14C) dating is the most eminent dating tool for carbon containing samples younger than ~50 kyr and a useful tracer of the carbon cycle. Within this lab course, the sample preparation and 14C analysis of wood samples (or upon agreement other samples) will be performed.
ObjectiveIn this hands-on block course, students will have the opportunity to perform radiocarbon analysis of wood samples. This will include understanding the theoretical background of radiocarbon dating and its importance within Earth Sciences and related fields. Participants will gain know-how on the preparation of wood samples for AMS analysis. They will learn about the importance of suitable reference materials when performing AMS analysis. Data evaluation for C-14 measurements will be performed and discussed.
ContentSampling of tree ring layers.
Preparation of reference materials and samples for AMS measurement, including chemical pre-treatment and graphitisation.
Assisting the AMS measurement.
Data evaluation and interpretation of results.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis is a block course for D-ERDW or D-USYS master or PhD students.

Recommended (but not a prerequisite 651-4191-00L Radionuclides as Environmental Tracers (in Autumn Semester)
651-4901-00L Quaternary Dating Methods (in Autumn Semester)