Decoupled sedimentary records of combustion : causes and implications
Eglinton, Timothy I.
Braun, Ana L. L.
Reddy, Christopher M.
Wiedemeier, Daniel B.
Schmidt, Michael W. I.
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KeywordDecoupled pyrogenic carbon records; Aquatic sediments; Organic carbon cycling; Local and regional sources; Transport pathways
Pyrogenic carbon (PyC) is a collective term for carbon-rich residues comprised of a continuum of products arising from biomass burning and fossil-fuel combustion. PyC is ubiquitous in the environment where it can be transported by wind and water before being deposited in aquatic sediments. We compare results from four different methods used to trace PyC that were applied to a high-temporal resolution sedimentary record in order to constrain changes in PyC concentrations and fluxes over the past ~250 years. We find markedly discordant records for different PyC tracers, particularly during the preindustrial age, implying different origins and modes of supply of sedimentary PyC. In addition to providing new insights into the composition of sedimentary combustion products, this study reveals that elucidation of past combustion processes and development of accurate budgets of PyC production and deposition on local to regional scales requires careful consideration of both source characteristics and transport processes.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, [year]. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016): 5098–5108, doi:10.1002/2016GL069253.
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