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Table 2 Summary of indices commonly used as indicators of loss of wood substance

From: A review of analytical methods for assessing preservation in waterlogged archaeological wood and their application in practice

Parameter Definition Method Reference
Maximum water content (MWC) The amount of water in the totally waterlogged sample as a percentage of the dry mass Sample is weighed both waterlogged and oven dry [24, 42]
Basic density The ratio between the waterlogged volume and the dry mass The waterlogged volume is calculated (e.g. by displacement), then sample is weighed dry [43, 44]
Residual density The ratio between the basic density and the average density of non-degraded wood Basic density divided by the density for non-degraded wood of the same species [45]
Shrinkage The size of the dry sample as a percentage of the size of the waterlogged sample Sample is measured in three planes before and after drying [3, 45]
Porosity The fraction of the volume of a sample not occupied by the cell wall material The waterlogged volume is compared to the pore volume (measured using a gas pycnometer) [42, 46]