New views on "old" carbon in the Amazon River: Insight from the source of organic carbon eroded from the Peruvian Andes

Clark, K. E., Hilton, R. G., West, A. J., Malhi, Y., Groecke, D. R., Bryant, C. L., Ascough, P. L., Robles Caceres, A. and New, M. (2013) New views on "old" carbon in the Amazon River: Insight from the source of organic carbon eroded from the Peruvian Andes. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14 (5). pp. 1644-1659. ISSN 1525-2027

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Key Points: Enrichment of soil and vegetation content at peak floods in Andean Rivers Fossil particulate organic carbon a significant presence in Andean river POC Mountain rivers play a key role in the delivery of particulate organic carbon (POC) to large river systems and the ocean. Due to the extent of its drainage area and runoff, the Amazon River is one of Earth's most important biogeochemical systems. However, the source of POC eroded from the humid region of the Eastern Andes and the input of fossil POC from sedimentary rocks (POCfossil) remains poorly constrained. Here we collected suspended sediments from the Kosnipata River during flood events to better characterize Andean POC, measuring the nitrogen to organic carbon ratio (N/C), stable carbon isotopes (delta C-13(org)) and radiocarbon (Delta C-14(org)). Delta C-14(org) values ranged from -711 parts per thousand to -15 parts per thousand, and significant linear trends between Delta C-14(org,) N/C and delta C-13(org) suggested that this reflects the mixing of POCfossil with very young organic matter (Delta C-14(org) ~ 50 parts per thousand) from the terrestrial biosphere (POCnon-fossil). Using N/C and Delta C-14(org) in an end-member mixing analysis, we quantify the fraction of POCfossil (to within 0.1) and find that it contributes a constant proportion of the suspended sediment mass (0.37 +/- 0.03%) and up to 80% of total POC. In contrast, the relative contribution of POCnon-fossil was variable, being most important during the rising limb and peak discharges of flood events. The new data shed light on published measurements of "old" POC (low Delta C-14(org)) in Andean-fed tributaries of the Amazon River, with their Delta C-14(org) and delta C-13(org) values consistent with variable addition of POCfossil. The findings suggest a greater persistence of Andean POC in the lowland Amazon than previously recognized.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: organic carbon,erosion,andes,amazon,radiocarbon,small mountainous rivers,suspended sediment,isotope systematics,himalayan erosion,atmospheric co2,stable carbon,lanyang-hsi,c-14 data,forest,taiwan,sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_on_land
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 11:14
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 00:51
DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20122

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item