USA: Black Carbon in the Environment: Combustion Residues – Sources and Fates, Characterization and Biogeochemical Implications


Call for Papers

Black Carbon in the Environment:
Combustion Residues – Sources and Fates, Characterization and Biogeochemical Implications

Symposium during the

9th Goldschmidt Conference

August 22-27 1999, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sponsored by: Geochemical Society, European Association of Geochemistry, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Harvard University , National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Black carbon, produced by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and vegetation fires, is relatively resistant to degradation and occurs ubiquitously in natural environments, including soils, sediments, seawater and the atmosphere. In recent years, geochemical and biological studies of different forms of black carbon (such as plant chars, charcoals, and soots) received increasing attention due to potential importances in a wide range of biogeochemical processes. For example, black carbon may represent a significant sink in the global carbon cycle, affect earth¢ s radiative heat balance, be a useful tracer for earth’s fire history, be a significant fraction of carbon buried in soils and sediments, and be an important carrier of organic pollutants.

Black carbon is presently being studied in a variety of widely separated scientific fields, with the result that essentially no generally accepted analytical protocols, terminologies and conceptual approaches exist. The aim of the symposium is to bring together a broad collegium of scientists ranging from geochemists to biologists and paleoenvironmentalists, to discuss the biogeochemical roles of black carbon in natural environments. In addition to stimulating interdisciplinary approaches, an additional goal of this symposium will be to encourage establishment of a collection of black carbon reference materials and to facilitate their comparative analysis by a range of commonly used techniques.

This emerging field of biogeochemical research will be addressed in two days of oral and poster presentations, including a special session dedicated to discussing potential comparison exercises. This symposium should attract a large number of participants from a broad and diverse background in carbon biogeochemistry, certainly including soil, sediment, and marine geochemists and biologists.


Michael WI Schmidt
Max-Planck-Institut fur Biogeochemie, Germany
Tel. +49 3641 6437-23
E-mail: Orjan Gustafsson
Stockholm University, Environmental Research Institute (ITM), Sweden
Tel. +46 8 6747317
E-mail: John Hedges
University of Washington, School of Oceanography, USA
Tel. +1 206 543 0744



Abstract deadline:
May 21, 1999



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