The sample material used by the team was loess, a fertile agricultural soil found in all parts of the world – making it a very important carbon store. The researchers were able to take ultra-precise measurements using the NanoSIMS mass spectrometer. This instrument allowed them to view and compare even the most minute soil structures.
Carbon binds | to specific rough mineral surfaces known as hot spots (yellow areas).
In recognition of her work on the formation of soil organic matter and its central role in the terrestrial carbon cycle, as well as for her academic achievements and her outstanding teaching, Prof. Ingrid Kögel Knabner has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande) in January 2014. (© Technical University Munich, AcademiaNet)