Site characteristics impacting historic waterlogged wood: A review

IRG/WP 00-10344

B A Jordan, E L Schmidt

Survival of waterlogged wood from hundreds and in rare cases millions of years presents scientists with a unique opportunity to examine wood specimens which, due to select properties of the wood itself and/or the depostional environment, have not been completely degraded. Although degradation patterns of various types of microbial wood decay have been studied in detail, the site parameters of the zone from which the wood was removed has not been systematically characterized and correlated to the specific types and cause of degradation. Studies have been conducted attempting to relate factors such as hydrogen-ion concentration (pH), redox potential (Eh), oxygen (O2) concentration, and chemical end-member concentration to specific environments, but there has been no unification of testing methodology. This paper proposes to review the literature concerning site characteristics that impact the biodegradation of historic submerged wood, and discuss the implication of such research to future needs for further advancement of the science.


Keywords: WATERLOGGED WOOD; SITE CHARACTERISTICS; HYDROGEN-ION CONCENTRATION; PH; REDOX POTENTIAL; EH; OXYGEN CONCENTRATION

Conference: 00-05-14/19 Kona, Hawaii, USA


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