Neutron Activation Measurements of Silver in Precipitation from Locations in Western North America

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  • 1 Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada, Reno
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Abstract

Thermal neutron activation methods have been applied to the determination of silver content in samples of hail, rain and snow. Hail and rain samples were collected in South Dakota in regions where AgI cloud seeding was being conducted; the snow was collected in the eastern Sierra Nevada in an area where no such seeding was being conducted. No silver was detected in the snow samples analyzed, indicating concentrations on the average less than 2.5 × 10−11 gm ml−1. Eighty percent of the hail and rain samples analyzed contained measurable quantities of silver up to 70 times the minimum detectable amount. Some of these latter samples were collected in nominally unseeded areas, and although the chemical form in which the silver entered the precipitation is unknown—thereby casting doubt on its consequence—the observations raise important questions which deserve answers, particularly as they may affect statistical evaluations of weather modification experiments.

Abstract

Thermal neutron activation methods have been applied to the determination of silver content in samples of hail, rain and snow. Hail and rain samples were collected in South Dakota in regions where AgI cloud seeding was being conducted; the snow was collected in the eastern Sierra Nevada in an area where no such seeding was being conducted. No silver was detected in the snow samples analyzed, indicating concentrations on the average less than 2.5 × 10−11 gm ml−1. Eighty percent of the hail and rain samples analyzed contained measurable quantities of silver up to 70 times the minimum detectable amount. Some of these latter samples were collected in nominally unseeded areas, and although the chemical form in which the silver entered the precipitation is unknown—thereby casting doubt on its consequence—the observations raise important questions which deserve answers, particularly as they may affect statistical evaluations of weather modification experiments.

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