Johannes H Sterba

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Several environmental media in Austria were monitored for artificial radionuclides released during the Fukushima nuclear accident. Air (up to 1.2 mBq/m(3) particulate (131)I) and rainwater (up to 5.2 Bq/L (131)I) proved to be the media best suited for the environmental monitoring, allowing also a temporal resolution of the activity levels. Significant(More)
Pumice has been used as a serviceable abrasive or religious artefact since antiquity and has therefore been an object of trade. It can be found in excavations of ancient workshops all over the Mediterranean. Pumice lumps from the major pumice-bearing rhyolitic tephra units in Cappadocia-the Central Anatolian Volcanic Province, Turkey (in particular the(More)
In order to resolve a recent discrepancy in the half-life of 60Fe, we performed an independent measurement with a new method that determines the 60Fe content of a material relative to 55Fe (t1/2=2.744  yr) with accelerator mass spectrometry. Our result of (2.50±0.12)×10(6)  yr clearly favors the recently reported value (2.62±0.04)×10(6)  yr, and rules out(More)
Peer review is a widely accepted instrument for raising the quality of science. Peer review limits the enormous unstructured influx of information and the sheer amount of dubious data, which in its absence would plunge science into chaos. In particular, peer review offers the benefit of eliminating papers that suffer from poor craftsmanship or(More)
Gas mantles for camping gas lanterns sometimes contain thorium compounds. During the last years, the use of thorium-free gas mantles has become more and more popular due to the avoidance of a radioactive heavy metal. We investigated a gas mantle type that is declared to be "non-radioactive" and that can be bought in Austria at the moment. Methods used were(More)
Carnivorous plants use animals as fertiliser substitutes which allow them to survive on nutrient deficient soils. Most research concentrated on the uptake of the prey's nitrogen and phosphorus; only little is known on the utilisation of other elements. We studied the uptake of three essential nutrients, potassium, iron and manganese, in three species of(More)
Seven pumice samples from excavations in North Sinai have been investigated with respect to their geochemical composition. This type of volcanic rock has been used as an abrasive and thus has been an object of trade since antiquity. With the help of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis, six of these Bronze Age samples could be correlated to their(More)
In fossil specimens, measurements of the natural isotopic ratio (129)I/I may provide a method to estimate the age of sample. The motivation for measuring the isotopic composition ((129)I/I) of petrified wood samples collected from Austria was to check this feasibility. Alkaline fusion together with anion exchange was used to extract iodine from the sample.(More)
We discuss geochemical and sedimentological characteristics of 12 tephra layers, intercalated within the finely laminated sediments of Lake Van. Within the about 15kyr long sediment record studied, volcanic activity concentrated in the periods 2.6-7.2 and 11.9-12.9kyr B.P. Concentrations of 25 elements provide the geochemical fingerprint of each tephra(More)