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Predicting the oceanic input of organic carbon by continental erosion

Ludwig, Wolfgang and Probst, Jean-Luc and Kempe, Stefan Predicting the oceanic input of organic carbon by continental erosion. (1996) Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 10 (1). 23-41. ISSN 0886-6236

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/95GB02925


For a large set of major world rivers we established the empirical relations existing betwin the observed organic carbon fluxes and the climatic, biologic, and geomorphologic paterns characterizing the river basins.These characteristics where extracting from various ecological databases. The corresponding carbon fluxes were taken from the literature. Dissolved organic carbon fluxes are mainly related to drainage intensity, basin slope, and the amount of carbon stored in soils. Particulate organic carbon fluxes are calculated as a function of sediment fluxes, which depend principally upon drainage intensy, rainfall intensity, and basin slope. Although the drainage intensity is mainly related to the amount of precipitation and to mean temperature in the basin, slope is also retained as one of controlling factors. Our empirical models result in a total organic carbon flux to the oceans of about 0.38 Gt per year globally. About 0.21 Gt carbon (Gt C)enter the oceans in dissolved from and about 0.17 Gt C in particulate form. we further regionalize fluxes with respect to major climates, different continents, and different ocean basins. About 45% of the organic carbon is discharged from tropical wet regions. the major part of the dissolved organic carbon is discharged into the Atlantic Ocean, while the bulk of the particulate organic carbon is discharged into the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to American Geophysical Union editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.agu.org/. The original PDF of the article can be found at Global Biogeochemical Cycles
HAL Id:hal-04254436
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Technische Universität Darmstadt (GERMANY)
Other partners > Université Louis Pasteur-Strasbourg I - ULP (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:24 Mar 2010 07:56

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