Articles | Volume 12, issue 12
Research article
22 Jun 2015
Research article |  | 22 Jun 2015

The contribution of tephra constituents during biogenic silica determination: implications for soil and palaeoecological studies

W. Clymans, L. Barão, N. Van der Putten, S. Wastegård, G. Gísladóttir, S. Björck, B. Moine, E. Struyf, and D. J. Conley

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Cited articles

Adams, J. K. and Finkelstein, S. A.: Watershed-scale reconstruction of middle and late Holocene paleoenvironmental changes on Melville Peninsula, Nunavut, Canada, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 29, 2302–2314,, 2010.
Ampel, L., Wohlfarth, B., Risberg, J., and Veres, D.: Paleolimnological response to millennial and centennial scale climate variability during MIS 3 and 2 as suggested by the diatom record in Les Echets, France, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 27, 1493–1504,, 2008.
Andresen, C. S., Björck, S., Bennike, O., and Bond, G.: Holocene climate changes in southern Greenland: evidence from lake sediments, J. Quaternary Sci., 19, 783–795,, 2004.
Barão, L., Clymans, W., Vandevenne, F., Meire, P., Conley, D., and Struyf, E.: Pedogenic and biogenic alkaline – extracted silicon distributions along a temperate land – use gradient, Eur. J. Soil Sci., 65, 693–705, 2014.
Barão, A., Vandevenne, F., Clymans, W., Frings, P., Ragueneau, O., Meire, P., Conley, D. J., and Struyf, E.: Alkaline-extractable silicon from land to ocean: a challenge for biogenic Silicon determination, Limnol. Oceanogr.-Meth.,, 2015.
Short summary
Biogenic silica (BSi) is used as a proxy by soil scientists to identify biological effects on the Si cycle and by palaeoecologists to study environmental changes. We show the presence of tephra constituents can make measurements erroneous at low BSi concentrations, with repercussions for soil and palaeoecological studies. However, we also show that glass shards do not produce an identical dissolution signal to that of BSi, meaning they can be distinguished with appropriate experimental setups.
Final-revised paper