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Acid digestion on river influenced shelf sediment organic matter: Carbon and nitrogen contents and isotopic ratios

Abstract : We show that acid type did not significantly affect results. We also find that (i) glacial and interglacial samples do not react similarly to acid pre-treatment, (ii) high acid strength (>1.5 mol L-1) induces significant bias on δ13Corg and TOC values, and therefore on C/N ratios; (iii) 25% of an isotopically distinct pool of organic carbon was lost when using acid concentrations of 0.2-1.5 mol L-1, affecting δ13Corg values by more than 1.5‰; and (iv) geochemical evidence indicates that the leachable organic carbon pool is preferentially composed of terrestrial organic matter. These findings call for precautions when using C/N ratios and associated δ13Corg values for paleoenvironmental and climate reconstructions.
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Virgil Pasquier, Pierre Sansjofre, Oanez Lebeau, Céline Liorzou, Marina Rabineau. Acid digestion on river influenced shelf sediment organic matter: Carbon and nitrogen contents and isotopic ratios. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Wiley, 2018, 32 (2), pp.86 - 92. ⟨10.1002/rcm.8014⟩. ⟨hal-01919651⟩

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