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In this study, a sequential pyrolysis technique was investigated.
The soil was pyrolyzed at temperatures of 200, 400, 600, and 800 °C to partition organic carbon into pyrolytic volatile (Py-V) and pyrolytic residue (Py-R) fractions.
In peat sections, 14C ages of HA and humin were equally accurate.We conclude that in Andosols lacking a thick organic horizon, dating of HA renders the most accurate results, since humin was contaminated by roots.On the other hand, in mineral soil samples just beneath a forest floor, humin ages were more accurate because HA was then contaminated by younger HA illuviated from the organic horizons.The residue of 6 M HCl hydrolysis comprised 23 to 70% of the total soil C and was, on the average, 1500 yr older. The percentage of nonhydrolyzable C and its 14C age analytically identify the amount and turnover rate of the old resistant soil C.