Fluxes of inorganic carbon from two forested catchments in the Appalachian mountains

  • Authors: Worrall, Fred; Swank, Wayne T.; Burt, Tim
  • Publication Year: 2005
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Hydrol. Process. 19:3021-3035


This study uses long-term records of stream chemistry, discharge and air temperature from two neighbouring forested catchments in the southern Appalachians in order to calculate production of dissolved C02 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). One of the pair of catchments was clear-felled during the period of the study. The study shows that: (1) areal production rates of both dissolved C02 and DIC are similar between the two catchments even during and immediately after the period of clear-felling; (2) flux of total inorganic carbon (dissolved C02 DIC) rises dramatically in response to a catchment-wide acidification event; (3) DIC and dissolved C02 are dominantly released on the old water portion of the discharge and concentrations peak in the early autumn when flows in the study catchments are at their lowest; (4) total fluvial carbon flux from the clear-felled catchment is 11.6 t km-2 year-1 and for the control catchment is 11.4 t km-2 year-1. The total inorganic carbon flux represents 69% of the total fluvial carbon flux. The method presented in the study provides a useful way of estimating inorganic carbon flux from a catchment without detailed gas monitoring. The time series of dissolved C& at emergence to the stream can also be a proxy for the soil flux of C02.

  • Citation: Worrall, Fred; Swank, Wayne T.; Burt, Tim 2005. Fluxes of inorganic carbon from two forested catchments in the Appalachian mountains. Hydrol. Process. 19:3021-3035.
  • Posted Date: December 21, 2006
  • Modified Date: July 16, 2010
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