The C-cycle is actually a series of interlocked biogeochemical cycles that operate over timescales important to biology (fast) and geology (slow). Carbon in surface environments, such as soils and sediments, may have components from multiple C-cycles thus we call it multi-cycle C. Riverine sediments especially have multi-cycle C mixtures because they are derived from watershed-wide mass wasting processes.
In this exercise, you will learn how to recognize and quantify some of the different pools of organic C in riverine sediments. You will then discuss how the pools vary in response to tectonic environment. The primary geochemical tool that you will use is 14C (radiocarbon), which provides information about age and thus the type of C-cycle involved.
Optional data download:
Table 1 (Excel)
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