Identifying and implementing techniques for carbon management has become an important endeavor in the mitigation of global climate change. Two important techniques being pursued are geologic and terrestrial carbon sequestration. With regard to terrestrial sequestration, in order to accurately monitor changes in soil carbon potentially induced by sequestration practices, rapid, cost-effective, and accurate measurements must be developed. Spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy (SIBS) has the potential to be used as a field-deployable method to monitor changes in the concentration of carbon in soil. SIBS spectra in the 248 nm region of eight soils were collected, and the neutral carbon line at 247.85 nm was compared to total carbon concentration determined by standard dry combustion techniques. Additionally, Fe and Si emission lines were evaluated in a multivariate statistical model to evaluate their impacts on the model’s predictive power for total carbon concentrations. The preliminary results indicate that SIBS is a viable method to quantify total carbon levels in soils, obtaining a correlation of () between measured and predicated carbon in soils. These results show that multivariate analysis can be used to construct a calibration model for SIBS soil spectra.
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