In 2009, at a workshop on biochar at the Pony Farm in Temple, NH, Hugh McLaughlin gave some history and ideas about the actual formation of the Black Earth. First, most of it was not black. There was Terra Mulata, brown earth.
Hugh refers to the book, 1491 – New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. It is worth the read!
Dr. Hugh McLaughlin
Hugh McLaughlin, PhD, PE has a professional consulting practice in Chemical Engineering. He is an expert on the properties and production of chars, created by pyrolyzing biomass, and the subsequent conversion to activated carbons.