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Radiocarbon Dating of Total Soil Organic Matter and Humin Fraction and Its Comparison with 14C Ages of Fossil Charcoal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

L C R Pessenda
Affiliation:
14C Laboratory of Centre for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, 13416–000, Brazil
S E M Gouveia
Affiliation:
14C Laboratory of Centre for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, 13416–000, Brazil
R Aravena
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

During the last decade radiocarbon dating has been used extensively in distinct regions of Brazil to provide information about soil chronology in paleoenvironmental studies. This paper presents 14C data of soil organic matter (SOM), humin fraction, and charcoal in several soil profiles under natural vegetation from different Brazil locations (north, central, and southeast regions). The main objective is to compare the obtained 14C dating of total SOM with humin, the oldest fraction of SOM. In order to validate the humin ages these data are compared with the age of charcoal collected at similar depths. The 14C ages obtained on charcoal were, in most of the cases, in agreement with the humin fraction considering the experimental errors, or 20% older in average. The dates obtained from total SOM showed significantly younger ages than the humin fraction indicating contamination by younger carbon. These results show the humin fraction is considered a reliable material for 14C dating in soils. However, the humin fraction ages could be assumed as the minimum ages for carbon in soils.

Type
I. Our ‘Dry’ Environment: Above Sea Level
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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