Mankind’s Perturbations of Particulate Carbon

  • Lloyd A. Currie
Conference paper


A central challenge for contemporary environmental research is the assessment of human impacts on the natural chemical cycles. The balance between natural and anthropogenic sources of carbonaceous particles represents a critical part of perhaps the most influential of these cycles, the carbon cycle. In this chapter, I examine the contributions of radiocarbon to our understanding of this system, especially in light of major advances in isotopic measurement (notably accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)), environmental sampling, trace and microanalysis, and computation and modeling. Following a brief review of the history of atmospheric particulate carbon and 14C measurements, I consider: the particulate carbon life cycle (formation, transport and reaction, sinks and natural archives); chemical information content of the particles (isotopic, elemental, molecular and structural); and case studies of local and global particle source apportionment based on univariate and multivariate compositional patterns.


Particulate Carbon Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Source Apportionment Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Abietic Acid 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Lloyd A. Currie

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