Calibrating Carbonization Temperatures of Wood Fragments Embedded within Pyroclastic Density Currents through Raman Spectroscopy

Andrea Schito*, Alessandra Pensa, Claudia Romano, Sveva Corrado, Alessandro Vona, Matteo Trolese, Daniele Morgavi, Guido Giordano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


The study of the structural order of charcoals embedded in pyroclastic density currents provides information on their emplacement temperature during volcanic eruptions. In the present work, a set of charcoals from three distinct pyroclastic density currents deposits whose temperatures have been previously estimated by charcoal reflectance analyses to lie between 250 °C and 550 °C, was studied by means of Raman spectroscopy. The analyses reveal a very disordered structural ordering of the charcoals, similar to kerogen matured under diagenetic conditions. Changes in Raman spectra at increasing temperatures reflect depolymerization and an increase of aromaticity and can be expressed by parameters derived from a simplified fitting method. Based on this approach, a second order polynomial regression with a high degree of correlation and a minimum error was derived to predict paleotemperatures of pyroclastic deposits. Our results show that Raman spectroscopy can provide a reliable and powerful tool for volcanological studies and volcanic hazard assessment given its advantage of minimum samples preparation, rapid acquisition processes and high precision.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Early online date5 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

The Grant of Excellence Departments, MIUR (ARTICOLO 1, COMMI 314–337 LEGGE 232/2016) is gratefully acknowledged. MathWorks is acknowledged for providing the Matlab license for this work. A version of the script for calculating temperatures from Raman spectra can be provided by the authors upon request.
This research was funded by an MIUR Roma Tre post-doctoral grant (2017–20) No. REP. 22-PROT. 219 of 26 January 2017.

Data Availability Statement

All data are reported in the manuscript and Supplementary Materials


  • Charcoal
  • Charcoal reflectance
  • Multivariate polynomial regression
  • Pyroclastic density currents
  • Raman spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Calibrating Carbonization Temperatures of Wood Fragments Embedded within Pyroclastic Density Currents through Raman Spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this