Elemental carbon in marine sediments: a baseline for burning
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Dwight M. Smith; John J. Griffin; Edward D. Goldberg
Publication Year: 1973

Cataloging Information

  • aerosols
  • ash
  • carbon
  • charcoal
  • combustion
  • coniferous forests
  • dust
  • energy
  • fossils
  • fuel types
  • gases
  • geology
  • glaciers
  • hardwood forest
  • manganese
  • marine sediments
  • Mediterranean habitats
  • minerals
  • particulates
  • savannas
  • sedimentation
  • soils
  • soot
  • temperature
  • tropical forest
  • tundra
  • wildfires
  • wind
  • wood chemistry
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 19431
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9238
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


A record of prehistoric and historic burning of carbonaceous materials may be found in the elemental carbon contents of the sedimentary columns. The widespread dissemination of such carbon as microcrystalline graphite is indicated by its presence in atmospheric dusts collected over the North Atlantic and in ice nuclei collected from North Pacific airs. Its submarine survival over geologic time periods, at least up to millions of years, is suggested by its occurrence in manganese nodules and in sediments from the Sierra Leone Rise. But a biologically mediated oxidation of elemental carbon in terrestrial soils has been proposed to explain the gradual disappearance of charcoals originating from forest fires. The contributions of carbon from industrial activities are also visible and well documented.

Online Link(s):
Smith, Dwight M.; Griffin, John J.; Goldberg, Edward D. 1973. Elemental carbon in marine sediments: a baseline for burning. Nature 241:263-270.