Fire has been an important element of the Earth system since the Silurian Period, when vascular plants first evolved and spread on land. Our understanding of the fossil record of fire comes from a diversity of fire residues and fire signals including charcoal (both macroscopic and microscopic), soot and black carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and evidence of fire scars in tree rings. However, it is the use of macroscopic charcoal that has proved most useful in the recognition of deep time fire activity and forms the major focus of this chapter. In identifying past fire events more detailed study of charcoal can yield a wide range of data. Other topics covered are charcoal sedimentation, the impacts of fire on run-off and erosion, and stand replacement events.
|Title of host publication||Fire Phenomena and the Earth System: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Fire Science|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||John Wiley & Sons|
|Number of pages||28|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Apr 2013|