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Old Carbon Contributes to Aquatic Emissions of Carbon Dioxide in the Amazon : Volume 11, Issue 1 (29/01/2014)

By Vihermaa, L. E.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004004824
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 28
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Old Carbon Contributes to Aquatic Emissions of Carbon Dioxide in the Amazon : Volume 11, Issue 1 (29/01/2014)  
Author: Vihermaa, L. E.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Newton, J., Vihermaa, L. E., Garnett, M. H., & Waldron, S. (2014). Old Carbon Contributes to Aquatic Emissions of Carbon Dioxide in the Amazon : Volume 11, Issue 1 (29/01/2014). Retrieved from

Description: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK. Knowing the rate that carbon is cycled is crucial to understanding the dynamics of carbon transfer pathways. Recent technical developments now support measurement of the 14C age of evaded CO2 from fluvial systems, which provides an important fingerprint of the source of C. Here we report the first direct measurements of the 14C age of effluxed CO2 from two small streams and two rivers within the Western Amazonian Basin. The rate of degassing and hydrochemical controls on degassing are also considered. We observe that CO2 efflux from all systems except the seasonal small stream was 14C-depleted relative to the contemporary atmosphere, indicating a~contribution from old carbon fixed before ~1955 AD. Further, old CO2 was effluxed from the perennial stream in the rainforest, unexpected as here connectivity with the contemporary C cycle is likely greatest. The effluxed gas represents all sources of CO2 in the aquatic system and thus we used end member analysis to identify the relative inputs of fossil, modern and intermediately-aged C. The most likely solutions indicated a contribution from fossil carbon sources of between 3 and 9% which we interpret as being derived from carbonate weathering. This is significant as the currently observed intensification of weather has the potential to increase the future release of old carbon, which can be subsequently degassed to the atmosphere, and so render older, slower C cycles faster. Thus 14C fingerprinting of evaded CO2 provides understanding essential to more accurately model the carbon cycle in the Amazon Basin.

Old carbon contributes to aquatic emissions of carbon dioxide in the Amazon

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