Method for the determination of specific molecular markers of biomass burning in lake sediments

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Torben Kirchgeorg
  • S. Schüpbach
  • N. Kehrwald
  • D. B. McWethy
  • C. Barbante
Fire has an influence on regional to global atmospheric chemistry and climate. Molecular markers of biomass burning archived in lake sediments are becoming increasingly important in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and may help determine the interaction between climate and fire activity. Here, we present a high performance anion exchange chromatography–mass spectrometry method to allow separation and analysis of levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan in lake sediments, with implications for reconstructing past biomass burning events. Determining mannosan and galactosan in Lake Kirkpatrick, New Zealand (45.03°S, 168.57°E) sediment cores and comparing these isomers with the more abundant biomass burning markers levoglucosan and charcoal represents a significant advancement in our ability to analyze past fire activity. Levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan concentrations correlated significantly with macroscopic charcoal concentration. Levoglucosan/mannosan and levoglucosan/(mannosan + galactosan) ratios may help determine not only when fires occurred, but also if changes in the primary burned vegetation occurred.
ZeitschriftOrganic Geochemistry
Seiten (von - bis)1-6
Anzahl der Seiten6
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 06.2014