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Concentrations of black carbon were determined for a number of marine sediments. A comparison of black carbon based on thermal oxidation and hot concentrated nitric acid pretreatments revealed that the latter significantly overestimates combustion derived carbon phases. Black carbon accounts for about 15 to 30% of total organic carbon and therefore reduces the fraction of unidentified sedimentary organic carbon. Examination of a relict oxidation front in a Madeira Abyssal Plain turbidite provided the first evidence for significant black-carbon degradation (about 64%) in marine sediments given time (10-20 kyr) and oxygen exposure. [KEYWORDS: black carbon; soot carbon; organic carbon; sediments; degradation; Black Sea; turbidite; North Sea; Scheldt Estuary; Eastern Mediterranean Madeira-abyssal-plain; organic-matter; elemental carbon; sea sediments; oxidation; indicators; charcoal; degradation; turbidite]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-252
JournalMarine Chemistry
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1999

ID: 368354