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Loss on ignition: a qualitative or quantitative method for organic matter and carbonate mineral content in sediments?

Santisteban, Juan I. and Mediavilla López, Rosa María and López Pamo, Enrique and Dabrio, Cristino J. and Ruiz Zapata, María Blanca and Gil García, M. José and Castaño Castaño, Silvino and Martínez Alfaro, Pedro E. (2004) Loss on ignition: a qualitative or quantitative method for organic matter and carbonate mineral content in sediments? Journal of paleolimnology, 32 (3). pp. 287-299. ISSN 0921-2728

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Official URL: http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences+and+geography/journal/10933

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Abstract

Since the publication of the paper of Dean (1974), loss on ignition (LOI) has been widely used as a method
to estimate the amount of organic matter and carbonate mineral content (and indirectly of organic and
inorganic carbon) in sediments. The relationships between LOI at 550 ºC (LOI550) and organic carbon
(OC) content and between LOI at 950 ºC (LOI950) and inorganic carbon (IC) content are currently accepted
as a standard. However, the comparison of 150 analyses of samples of diverse lithologies, collected
from a single core, reveals that these relationships are affected by sediment composition (presence of clays,
salts, and the variable content of organic carbon). This results in an incremental error on the estimation of
carbon content from LOI values that invalidates the use of LOI values as a quantitative method for
estimating carbon content. Conversely, the general trends of LOI550 and LOI950 show a good correlation
with carbon content (both organic and inorganic) allowing use of LOI as a qualitative test for carbon
content. Similarly, in our case, LOI at 105 ºC (LOI105) is a good qualitative proxy for the trends in gypsum
content.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Uncontrolled Keywords:Carbonates, Clays, Evaporites, Lake sediments, Loss on ignition, Organic matter
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
Sciences > Geology > Geochemistry
ID Code:10760
Deposited On:09 Jun 2010 09:49
Last Modified:06 Feb 2014 08:49

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