With 6.5 m of peat accumulated during the past ca. 15,000 years, Etang de la Gruère (EGr) represents the longest continuous record of atmospheric dust deposition in northern hemisphere. This paper presents a comparative study of the mineralogical composition of Sphagnum peat samples and their corresponding humic acids (HA) from a peat core collected at EGr bog. The purpose of this study was to better understand the dominant process responsible for the amount and distribution of mineral matter in ombrotrophic (i.e., rain-fed) peat. Specifically, the goal was to separate the relative importance of the changing rates of atmospheric mineral dust deposition (during the past two millennia) from the mineralization of organic matter (OM), for the distribution of the ash fraction of the peat profile. The results suggest that variations in ash content at EGr are mainly the result of an increase in the rate of supply of dust particles and cannot be attributed simply, or exclusively, to differences in the degree of OM decay: evidence is provided by both acid insoluble ash (AIA) profiles and the correlations among lithogenic elements (Al, Si, Ti, Y, and Zr), total ash content and AIA. Moreover, our findings suggest that part of the AIA occurring in peat extremely is stable, and is unaffected by the extreme chemical conditions used to extract the HA fraction: this may be partly due to the inherent stability of quartz and “heavy minerals” such as zircon and rutile, but organic coatings developed on mineral surfaces during peat diagenesis, or the formation of some other kind of organo-mineral complex, might also play a role. Consequently, testimonies of past dust depositions can be observed also into the recalcitrant HA fraction of the peat.

Comparative evaluation of the mineralogical composition of Sphagnum peat and their corresponding humic acids, and implications for understanding past dust depositions

MIANO, Teodoro
2013

Abstract

With 6.5 m of peat accumulated during the past ca. 15,000 years, Etang de la Gruère (EGr) represents the longest continuous record of atmospheric dust deposition in northern hemisphere. This paper presents a comparative study of the mineralogical composition of Sphagnum peat samples and their corresponding humic acids (HA) from a peat core collected at EGr bog. The purpose of this study was to better understand the dominant process responsible for the amount and distribution of mineral matter in ombrotrophic (i.e., rain-fed) peat. Specifically, the goal was to separate the relative importance of the changing rates of atmospheric mineral dust deposition (during the past two millennia) from the mineralization of organic matter (OM), for the distribution of the ash fraction of the peat profile. The results suggest that variations in ash content at EGr are mainly the result of an increase in the rate of supply of dust particles and cannot be attributed simply, or exclusively, to differences in the degree of OM decay: evidence is provided by both acid insoluble ash (AIA) profiles and the correlations among lithogenic elements (Al, Si, Ti, Y, and Zr), total ash content and AIA. Moreover, our findings suggest that part of the AIA occurring in peat extremely is stable, and is unaffected by the extreme chemical conditions used to extract the HA fraction: this may be partly due to the inherent stability of quartz and “heavy minerals” such as zircon and rutile, but organic coatings developed on mineral surfaces during peat diagenesis, or the formation of some other kind of organo-mineral complex, might also play a role. Consequently, testimonies of past dust depositions can be observed also into the recalcitrant HA fraction of the peat.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/63919
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