Independent measurement of biogenic silica in sediments by FTIR spectroscopy and PLS regression

Meyer-Jacob, Carsten; Vogel, Hendrik; Boxberg, Florian; Rosén, Peter; Weber, Michael E.; Bindler, Richard (2014). Independent measurement of biogenic silica in sediments by FTIR spectroscopy and PLS regression. Journal of Paleolimnology, 52(3), pp. 245-255. Kluwer Academic 10.1007/s10933-014-9791-5

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We present an independent calibration model for the determination of biogenic silica (BSi) in sediments, developed from analysis of synthetic sediment mixtures and application of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIRS) and partial least squares regression (PLSR) modeling. In contrast to current FTIRS applications for quantifying BSi, this new calibration is independent from conventional wet-chemical techniques and their associated measurement uncertainties. This approach also removes the need for developing internal calibrations between the two methods for individual sediments records. For the independent calibration, we produced six series of different synthetic sediment mixtures using two purified diatom extracts, with one extract mixed with quartz sand, calcite, 60/40 quartz/calcite and two different natural sediments, and a second extract mixed with one of the natural sediments. A total of 306 samples—51 samples per series—yielded BSi contents ranging from 0 to 100 %. The resulting PLSR calibration model between the FTIR spectral information and the defined BSi concentration of the synthetic sediment mixtures exhibits a strong cross-validated correlation ( R2cv = 0.97) and a low root-mean square error of cross-validation (RMSECV = 4.7 %). Application of the independent calibration to natural lacustrine and marine sediments yields robust BSi reconstructions. At present, the synthetic mixtures do not include the variation in organic matter that occurs in natural samples, which may explain the somewhat lower prediction accuracy of the calibration model for organic-rich samples.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Vogel, Hendrik


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Kluwer Academic




Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

17 Oct 2014 15:02

Last Modified:

19 Oct 2015 09:41

Publisher DOI:





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