Thermochemolysis of organic matter preserved in stalagmites: a preliminary study

Blyth, Alison J. and Watson, Jonathan (2009). Thermochemolysis of organic matter preserved in stalagmites: a preliminary study. Organic Geochemistry, 40(9) pp. 1029–1031.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orggeochem.2009.06.007

Abstract

The analysis of organic matter (OM) preserved in stalagmites is a growing field, but there have been few studies of biomarker compounds such as lignin phenols that are widely used in other palaeoenvironmental contexts. Here we present a preliminary qualitative study of the organic matter in six stalagmite samples from contrasting environments, using thermochemolysis in the presence of tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH). The results indicate that a wide variety of products is preserved, including several potential lignin-derived compounds, but also that further research is needed to maximise compound recovery and allow the analysis of dissolved OM preserved in stalagmites to reach its full potential.

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