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Dissolved organic matter characterization in a large arctic river : origins and dynamic

Le Dantec, Théo Aurelien. Dissolved organic matter characterization in a large arctic river : origins and dynamic. PhD, Surfaces Interfaces Continentales Hydrologie, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2018

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Abstract

Arctic regions are expected to be highly sensitive to climate change regarding the prediction of disproportionately large increases in surface temperatures and their related influence over the hydrological cycle and permafrost thaw. These modifications have the potential to impact biogeochemical cycles in these regions and in particular the mobilization of organic carbon into rivers. The most crucial period in arctic rivers hydrological cycle is the spring freshet that can account for most of the annual organic carbon transfers to the ocean in a very short window of time. The focus of this thesis was to monitor the dynamic of DOM in terms of quantity and quality along the hydrological cycle of the Yenisei river, through DOM characterization approaches to reveal seasonal variations in its composition, sources, age and degradation state. The first step was to make a review of the full range of existing DOM characterization approaches in worldwide river systems to identify the most widely used, the most relevant and reliable ones. Through the development of a DOM quality measurements database, we have been able to evaluate the geographical coverage of DOM characterization studies, to give estimates and ranges of values of the main reported DOM characterization variables and to observe global trends of DOM quality across latitudinal gradient. Second stage was to investigate DOC dynamic in the Yenisei river with regard to quantity and links with water chemistry and hydrology. We conducted sampling campaigns during three consecutive years (2014 to 2016), covering with a high sampling frequency the spring flood period to capture its very dynamic evolution. We reported DOC concentrations that followed the hydrograph with highest concentrations observed a few days before peak discharge. DOC concentration also responded to discharge variation (increase, likely due to higher precipitation) in early autumn. We reported average DOC flux over the three sampling years of about 4.53 Tg yr-1 which is within the range of values reported in the literature. We observed interannual variability with annual export estimates ranging from 5.45 Tg yr-1 in 2014 to 3.57 Tg yr-1 in 2016, likely driven by discharge amplitude. We confirmed the important role of spring freshet in DOC export with on average more than 65% occurring during this period (roughly May/June). Third point was to determine DOM quality combining characterization techniques. Combination of approaches helped to strengthen observations and cross validate interpretations. Most of the variables reported from the different characterization techniques confirmed one each other. The use of lignin biomarkers, optical properties and radiocarbon age of DOM allowed us to trace DOM main sources has primarily deriving from recently produced organic matter leached from boreal forest litter and top soil horizon during the spring flood and older organic matter derived from deeper soil horizons during low flow period.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
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Research Director:
Probst, Jean-Luc and Teisserenc, Roman
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Deposited By: Thèse INPT
Deposited On:05 Jun 2018 12:54

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