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Title: Evaluation of Three Field-Based Methods for Quantifying Soil Carbon

Abstract

Three advanced technologies to measure soil carbon (C) density (g C m22) are deployed in the field and the results compared against those obtained by the dry combustion (DC) method. The advanced methods are: a) Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), b) Diffuse Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (DRIFTS), and c) Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS). The measurements and soil samples were acquired at Beltsville, MD, USA and at Centro International para el Mejoramiento del Maiz y el Trigo (CIMMYT) at El Bata´n, Mexico. At Beltsville, soil samples were extracted at three depth intervals (0–5, 5–15, and 15–30 cm) and processed for analysis in the field with the LIBS and DRIFTS instruments. The INS instrument determined soil C density to a depth of 30 cm via scanning and stationary measurements. Subsequently, soil core samples were analyzed in the laboratory for soil bulk density (kg m23), C concentration (g kg21) by DC, and results reported as soil C density (kg m22). Results from each technique were derived independently and contributed to a blind test against results from the reference (DC) method. A similar procedure was employed at CIMMYT in Mexico employing but only with the LIBS and DRIFTS instruments. Following conversion to commonmore » units, we found that the LIBS, DRIFTS, and INS results can be compared directly with those obtained by the DC method. The first two methods and the standard DC require soil sampling and need soil bulk density information to convert soil C concentrations to soil C densities while the INS method does not require soil sampling. We conclude that, in comparison with the DC method, the three instruments (a) showed acceptable performances although further work is needed to improve calibration techniques and (b) demonstrated their portability and their capacity to perform under field conditions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1063705
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-68548
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203; KP1702020
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: PLoS ONE; Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Izaurralde, Roberto C., Rice, Charles W., Wielopolski, Lucien, Ebinger, Michael H., Reeves, James B., Thomson, Allison M., Harris, Ron, Francis, Barry, Mitra, S., Rappaport, Aaron, Etchevers, Jorge, Sayre, Ken D., Govaerts, Bram, and McCarty, G. W. Evaluation of Three Field-Based Methods for Quantifying Soil Carbon. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055560.
Izaurralde, Roberto C., Rice, Charles W., Wielopolski, Lucien, Ebinger, Michael H., Reeves, James B., Thomson, Allison M., Harris, Ron, Francis, Barry, Mitra, S., Rappaport, Aaron, Etchevers, Jorge, Sayre, Ken D., Govaerts, Bram, & McCarty, G. W. Evaluation of Three Field-Based Methods for Quantifying Soil Carbon. United States. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055560.
Izaurralde, Roberto C., Rice, Charles W., Wielopolski, Lucien, Ebinger, Michael H., Reeves, James B., Thomson, Allison M., Harris, Ron, Francis, Barry, Mitra, S., Rappaport, Aaron, Etchevers, Jorge, Sayre, Ken D., Govaerts, Bram, and McCarty, G. W. 2013. "Evaluation of Three Field-Based Methods for Quantifying Soil Carbon". United States. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055560.
@article{osti_1063705,
title = {Evaluation of Three Field-Based Methods for Quantifying Soil Carbon},
author = {Izaurralde, Roberto C. and Rice, Charles W. and Wielopolski, Lucien and Ebinger, Michael H. and Reeves, James B. and Thomson, Allison M. and Harris, Ron and Francis, Barry and Mitra, S. and Rappaport, Aaron and Etchevers, Jorge and Sayre, Ken D. and Govaerts, Bram and McCarty, G. W.},
abstractNote = {Three advanced technologies to measure soil carbon (C) density (g C m22) are deployed in the field and the results compared against those obtained by the dry combustion (DC) method. The advanced methods are: a) Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), b) Diffuse Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (DRIFTS), and c) Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS). The measurements and soil samples were acquired at Beltsville, MD, USA and at Centro International para el Mejoramiento del Maiz y el Trigo (CIMMYT) at El Bata´n, Mexico. At Beltsville, soil samples were extracted at three depth intervals (0–5, 5–15, and 15–30 cm) and processed for analysis in the field with the LIBS and DRIFTS instruments. The INS instrument determined soil C density to a depth of 30 cm via scanning and stationary measurements. Subsequently, soil core samples were analyzed in the laboratory for soil bulk density (kg m23), C concentration (g kg21) by DC, and results reported as soil C density (kg m22). Results from each technique were derived independently and contributed to a blind test against results from the reference (DC) method. A similar procedure was employed at CIMMYT in Mexico employing but only with the LIBS and DRIFTS instruments. Following conversion to common units, we found that the LIBS, DRIFTS, and INS results can be compared directly with those obtained by the DC method. The first two methods and the standard DC require soil sampling and need soil bulk density information to convert soil C concentrations to soil C densities while the INS method does not require soil sampling. We conclude that, in comparison with the DC method, the three instruments (a) showed acceptable performances although further work is needed to improve calibration techniques and (b) demonstrated their portability and their capacity to perform under field conditions.},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pone.0055560},
journal = {PLoS ONE},
number = 1,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = 2013,
month = 1
}
  • Determining soil carbon (C) with high precision is an essential requisite for the success of the terrestrial C sequestration program. The informed choice of management practices for different terrestrial ecosystems rests upon accurately measuring the potential for C sequestration. Numerous methods are available for assessing soil C. Chemical analysis of field-collected samples using a dry combustion method is regarded as the standard method. However, conventional sampling of soil and their subsequent chemical analysis is expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, these methods are not sufficiently sensitive to identify small changes over time in response to alterations inmanagement practices or changes inmore » land use. Presently, several different in situ analytic methods are being developed purportedly offering increased accuracy, precision and cost-effectiveness over traditional ex situ methods. We consider that, at this stage, a comparative discussion of different soil C determination methods will improve the understanding needed to develop a standard protocol.« less
  • No abstract prepared.
  • Northern high latitudes contain large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC), of which Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems account for a substantial proportion. In this study, the SOC accumulation in Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems over the last 15 000 years was simulated using a process-based biogeochemistry model for both peatland and non-peatland ecosystems. Comparable with the previous estimates of 25–70 Pg C in peatland and 13–22 Pg C in non-peatland soils within 1 m depth in Alaska using peat-core data, our model estimated a total SOC of 36–63 Pg C at present, including 27–48 Pg C in peatland soils and 9–15 Pg C in non-peatland soils. Current vegetation stored 2.5–3.7 Pg C in Alaska, with 0.3–0.6 Pg C in peatlandsmore » and 2.2–3.1 Pg C in non-peatlands. The simulated average rate of peat C accumulation was 2.3 Tg C yr −1, with a peak value of 5.1 Tg C yr −1 during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) in the early Holocene, 4-fold higher than the average rate of 1.4 Tg C yr −1 over the rest of the Holocene. The SOC accumulation slowed down, or even ceased, during the neoglacial climate cooling after the mid-Holocene, but increased again in the 20th century. The model-estimated peat depths ranged from 1.1 to 2.7 m, similar to the field-based estimate of 2.29 m for the region. We found that the changes in vegetation and their distributions were the main factors in determining the spatial variations of SOC accumulation during different time periods. Warmer summer temperature and stronger radiation seasonality, along with higher precipitation in the HTM and the 20th century, might have resulted in the extensive peatland expansion and carbon accumulation.« less