A number of samples from a deep peat bog in Tierra del Fuego were analyzed using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) in order to extract parameters that might be used to interpret the peat chemistry in terms of vegetation change, anaerobic and aerobic decomposition, and fire incidence. The choice of parameters was based on factor analysis of 177 pyrolysis products, quantified for 13 samples, separated into extract and residue, as well as the total samples. Factor analysis of extracts, residues and total samples yielded similar classifications in terms of vegetation and decomposition. Pyrolysis products and ratios that most clearly differentiated samples were used to interpret the depth profile. Although interpretation was not always straightforward, indications of parameters to describe vegetation shifts, aerobic and anaerobic decomposition, and fire largely coincided. These parameters will be used in a forthcoming study for a more complete interpretation of the peat profile.
- soil organic-matter
- chromatography mass-spectrometry
- southern south-america