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Modeling total particulate organic carbon (POC) flows in the Baltic Sea catchment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre.
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Number of Authors: 5
2016 (English)In: Biogeochemistry, ISSN 0168-2563, E-ISSN 1573-515X, Vol. 128, no 1-2, 51-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The largest input source of carbon to the Baltic Sea catchment is river discharge. A tool for modeling riverine particulate organic carbon (POC) loads on a catchment scale is currently lacking. The present study describes a novel dynamic model for simulating flows of POC in all major rivers draining the Baltic Sea catchment. The processes governing POC input and transport in rivers described in the model are soil erosion, in-stream primary production and litter input. The Baltic Sea drainage basin is divided into 82 sub-basins, each comprising several land classes (e.g. forest, cultivated land, urban areas) and parameterized using GIS data on soil characteristics and topography. Driving forces are temperature, precipitation, and total phosphorous concentrations. The model evaluation shows that the model can predict annual average POC concentrations within a factor of about 2, but generally fails to capture the timing of monthly peak loads. The total annual POC load to the Baltic Sea is estimated to be 0.34 Tg POC, which constitutes circa 7-10 % of the annual total organic carbon (TOC) load. The current lack of field measurements of POC in rivers hampers more accurate predictions of seasonality in POC loads to the Baltic Sea. This study, however, identifies important knowledge gaps and provides a starting point for further explorations of large scale POC mass flows.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 128, no 1-2, 51-65 p.
Keyword [en]
Soil erosion, Litter, Large-scale model, Organic carbon, Primary production, Drainage basin
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130971DOI: 10.1007/s10533-016-0194-8ISI: 000374557300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-130971DiVA: diva2:936477
Available from: 2016-06-14 Created: 2016-06-09 Last updated: 2017-04-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Simulating Transport and Understanding Future Fluxes of Organic Carbon in Rivers Draining into the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulating Transport and Understanding Future Fluxes of Organic Carbon in Rivers Draining into the Baltic Sea
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Riverine organic (TOC, Total Organic Carbon) and inorganic (DIC, Dissolved Inorganic Carbon) carbon are the main sources of carbon in the Baltic Sea. While the importance of this contribution has been evaluated, there are currently several gaps in our knowledge of the mechanisms governing organic carbon dynamics in this region, especially for the particulate form, and the impact of future climate change on organic carbon transport. This licentiate thesis addresses this research deficit by (1) developing a model for assessing the flux of particulate organic carbon (POC), and by (2) simulating the potential climate effects on the transport and fate of TOC, both particulate and dissolved organic carbon, in the Baltic Sea environment.

Study I developed a novel dynamic model for simulating the generation and transport of POC in all the major rivers discharging into the Baltic Sea. The POC load was assessed using algorithms for the processes governing the input i.e. erosion, litterfall and in-stream primary production. Using daily information on precipitation and temperature, the water discharge from each river was calculated. The total annual POC load from the Baltic Sea drainage basin was predicted within a factor of about 2 and was estimated to be 0.34 Tg POC, or 7-10 % of the annual TOC. The prediction of the timing of the monthly peak loads, however, was hampered by the current lack of field measurements of POC loads to the Baltic Sea.

Study II assessed the potential future climate effects on riverine TOC (particulate and dissolved organic carbon, DOC) in the Baltic Sea drainage basin. A small decrease in POC load (-7 %) was predicted and no changes in DOC load on an annual and total basin scale, but the simulations showed significant variations between seasons and across sub-basins by the end of this century. Seasonal total loads were predicted to increase in winter and decrease in summer. Due to counterbalancing increases and decreases in predicted TOC loads in various parts of the Baltic Sea catchment, the impact of climate change on the total carbon budget in this region was limited. However, our simulation results indicated significant differences over time in POC and DOC export across the six Baltic Sea sub-basins, and an altered seasonal pattern in the timing and magnitude of the delivery.

This thesis comprises a first attempt to better describe the mechanisms and dynamics of OC generation and transport in the Baltic Sea catchment and assess the potential climate effects on the transport with a spatiotemporal resolution. The work provides a starting point for further development of the understanding of large scale organic carbon export and how it may be affected in the future. This thesis also discuss the role of riverine organic carbon in biogeochemical processes, food web structures and contaminant transport in inland, coastal and marine waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2017. 19 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141347 (URN)
Presentation
2017-04-18, Nordenskiöldsalen, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-06 Created: 2017-04-04 Last updated: 2017-04-06Bibliographically approved

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Dahlgren Strååt, KimMörth, Carl-MagnusSobek, AnnaSmedberg, ErikUndeman, Emma
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