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  • 2015-2019  (2)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2015-03-05
    Description: This regional study quantifies the CO2 exchange at the air–water interface along the land–ocean aquatic continuum (LOAC) of the northeast North American coast, from streams to the shelf break. Our analysis explicitly accounts for spatial and seasonal variability in the CO2 fluxes. The yearly integrated budget reveals the gradual change in the intensity of the CO2 exchange at the air–water interface, from a strong source towards the atmosphere in streams and rivers (3.0 ± 0.5 TgC yr−1) and estuaries (0.8 ± 0.5 TgC yr−1) to a net sink in continental shelf waters (−1.7 ± 0.3 TgC yr−1). Significant differences in flux intensity and their seasonal response to climate variations is observed between the North and South sections of the study area, both in rivers and coastal waters. Ice cover, snowmelt, and intensity of the carbon removal efficiency through the estuarine filter are identified as important control factors of the observed spatiotemporal variability in CO2 exchange along the LOAC.
    Print ISSN: 1726-4170
    Electronic ISSN: 1726-4189
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-07-01
    Description: This study applies the Carbon-Generic Estuary Model (C-GEM) modeling platform to simulate the estuarine biogeochemical dynamics – in particular the air-water CO2 exchange – in three idealized end-member systems covering the main features of tidal alluvial estuaries. C-GEM uses a generic biogeochemical reaction network and a unique set of model parameters extracted from a comprehensive literature survey to perform steady-state simulations representing average conditions for temperate estuaries worldwide. Climate and boundary conditions are extracted from published global databases (e.g. World Ocean Atlas, GLORICH) and catchment model outputs (GlobalNEWS2). The whole-system biogeochemical indicators Net Ecosystem Metabolism (NEM), C and N filtering capacities (FCTC and FCTN, respectively) and CO2 gas exchanges (FCO2) are calculated across the three end-member systems and are related to their main hydrodynamic and transport characteristics. A sensitivity analysis, which propagates the parameter uncertainties, is also carried out, followed by projections of changes in the biogeochemical indicators for the year 2050. Results show that the average C filtering capacities for baseline conditions are 40, 30 and 22% for the marine, mixed and riverine estuary, respectively. This translates into a first-order, global CO2 outgassing flux for tidal estuaries between 0.04 and 0.07 Pg C yr−1. N filtering capacities, calculated in similar fashion, range from 22% for the marine estuary to 18 and 15% for the mixed and the riverine estuary, respectively. Sensitivity analysis performed by varying the rate constants for aerobic degradation, denitrification and nitrification over the range of values reported in the literature significantly widens these ranges for both C and N. Simulations for the year 2050 indicate that all end-member estuaries will remain net heterotrophic and while the riverine and mixed systems will only marginally be affected by river load changes and increase in atmospheric pCO2, the marine estuary is likely to become a significant CO2 sink in its downstream section. In the decades to come, such change of behavior might strengthen the overall CO2 sink of the estuary-coastal ocean continuum.
    Print ISSN: 1812-2108
    Electronic ISSN: 1812-2116
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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