New classification systems for tropical organic-rich deposits based on studies of the Tasek Bera Basin, Malaysia

Wüst, Raphael A.J., Bustin, R. Marc, and Lavkulich, Les M. (2003) New classification systems for tropical organic-rich deposits based on studies of the Tasek Bera Basin, Malaysia. Catena, 53 (2). pp. 133-163.

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Most schemes in common use for field and laboratory classification of peats were developed in boreal and humid temperate regions and do not recognize the distinctive features and specific uses of tropical peats, such as those of the Tasek Bera Basin in tropical Peninsular Malaysia. The important aspects of peat texture (morphology of constituents and their arrangement) and laboratory ash content (residue after ignition) need modification to be valuable for classifying these and other tropical peat deposits. In the Tasek Bera Basin, most of the deposits would not be considered as peat according to some classification schemes, even though most have C contents >25%. We propose a new three-group (fibric, hemic, sapric) field texture classification applicable to tropical organic deposits, which is similar to the system of the US Soil Taxonomy. The classification is based on the following factors: (1) visual examination of the morphology of the peat constituents (texture); and (2) estimates of fiber content and matrix (finest fraction of peat consisting of highly humified organic matter and inorganic material). The classification is applicable to all organic deposits with <65% ash (i.e., >35% loss on ignition). We also present a new laboratory classification of organic soils based on ash and C content. The US Soil Taxonomy classifies organic soils as having more than 12–18% organic C, depending on clay content. Ash content and these limits for organic soils allow the discrimination of four main groups: peat, muck, organic-rich soil/sediment and mineral soil/sediment. Peat is defined as having an ash content of 0–55%, muck 55–65%, organic-rich soil/sediment 65–80% and mineral soil/sediment 80–100%. The peat class is further subdivided into very low ash (0–5%), low ash (5–15%), medium ash (15–25%), high ash (25–40%) and very high ash (40–55%) subclasses.

Item ID: 4460
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6887
Keywords: ash content; carbon content; peat classification; peat texture; tropical peat
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2009 01:00
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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