Existing techniques for measuring sediment Biogenic Silica (BSi) concentrations rely largely on conventional (Si-only) wet-alkaline digestion methods. Although results have provided detailed palaeoenvironmental information, potential errors can arise in accounting for sources of non-BSi. Here, I compare a conventional Si-only method to a Si/Al wet-alkaline digestion method, which in theory provides a more robust correction for concentrations of non-BSi. Late glacial/Holocene-aged sediment from Lake Baikal, Russia was used for the comparison. Results showed no significant difference between the two techniques, indicating that existing Si-only BSi methods are suitable for reconstructing environmental changes when levels of digested non-BSi are low to moderate.
Swann, G. E. (2010). A comparison of the Si/Al and Si/time wet-alkaline digestion methods for measurement of biogenic silica in lake sediments. Journal of Paleolimnology, 44(2), doi:10.1007/s10933-009-9308-9