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Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060199/abstract): While recent work demonstrates that glacial meltwater provides a substantial and relatively labile flux of the micronutrient iron to oceans, the role of high-latitude estuary environments as a potential sink of glacial iron is unknown. Here we present the first quantitative description of iron removal in a meltwater-dominated estuary. We find that 85% of “dissolved” Fe is removed in the low-salinity region of the estuary along with 41% of “total dissolvable” iron associated with glacial flour. We couple these findings with hydrologic and geochemical data from Gulf of Alaska (GoA) glacierized catchments to calculate meltwater-derived...
At the Earth's surface, a complex suite of chemical, biological, and physical processes combines to create the engine that transforms bedrock into soil (Figure 1). Earth's weathering engine provides nutrients to nourish ecosystems and human society mediates the transport of toxic components within the biosphere, creates water flow paths that carve and weaken bedrock, and contributes to the evolution of landscapes at all temporal and spatial scales. At the longest time scales, the weathering engine sequesters CO2, thereby influencing long-term climate change.Despite the importance of soil, our knowledge of the rate of soil formation is limited because the weathering zone forms a complex, ever-changing interface,...
We evaluate a comprehensive soil CO2 survey along the San Andreas fault (SAF) in Parkfield, and the Calaveras fault (CF) in Hollister, California, in the context of spatial and temporal variability, origin, and transport of CO2 in fractured terrain. CO2 efflux was measured within grids with portable instrumentation and continuously with meteorological parameters at a fixed station, in both faulted and unfaulted areas. Spatial and temporal variability of surface CO2 effluxes was observed to be higher at faulted SAF and CF sites, relative to comparable background areas. However, δ13C (−23.3 to −16.4‰) and Δ14C (75.5 to 94.4‰) values of soil CO2 in both faulted and unfaulted areas are indicative of biogenic CO2, even...
Soil erosion and deposition may play important roles in balancing the global atmospheric carbon budget through their impacts on the net exchange of carbon between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. Few models and studies have been designed to assess these impacts. In this study, we developed a general ecosystem model, Erosion-Deposition-Carbon-Model (EDCM), to dynamically simulate the influences of rainfall-induced soil erosion and deposition on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics in soil profiles. EDCM was applied to several landscape positions in the Nelson Farm watershed in Mississippi, including ridge top (without erosion or deposition), eroding hillslopes, and depositional sites that had been converted...
We compiled new and published data on the natural abundance N isotope composition (δ15N values) of soil and plant organic matter from around the world. Across a broad range of climate and ecosystem types, we found that soil and plant δ15N values systematically decreased with increasing mean annual precipitation (MAP) and decreasing mean annual temperature (MAT). Because most undisturbed soils are near N steady state, the observations suggest that an increasing fraction of ecosystem N losses are 15N-depleted forms (NO3, N2O, etc.) with decreasing MAP and increasing MAT. Wetter and colder ecosystems appear to be more efficient in conserving and recycling mineral N. Globally, plant δ15N values are more negative than...
The denitrifier method to determine the dual isotopic composition (δ15N and δ18O) of nitrate is well suited for studies of nitrogen contributions to streams during runoff events. This method requires only 70 nmol of NO3 − and enables high throughput of samples. We studied nitrate sources to a headwater stream during snowmelt by generating a high-temporal resolution dataset at the Sleepers River Research Watershed in Vermont, USA. In the earliest phase of runoff, stream NO3 − concentrations were highest and stream discharge, NO3 − concentrations, and δ18O of NO3 − generally tracked one another during diurnal melting. The isotopic composition of stream NO3 − varied in-between atmospheric and groundwater NO3 − end...