Transport of organic carbon to the oceans by rivers of North America: a synthesis of existing data

Article English OPEN
MULHOLLAND, PATRICK J. ; WATTS, JULIA A. (2011)

Transport of organic carbon in rivers of North America to the oceans was assessed by compiling and analyzing data from 82 North American rivers draining 60% of Canada and the United States. These data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Water Resources Branch of Canada's Inland Waters Directorate. Mean annual concentrations of total organic carbon showed considerably less variation than did annual specific export (gC m-2 yr-1). Regional variation in annual specific export of total organic carbon was attributed primarily to differences in annual runoff. Transport of total organic carbon to coastal regions by North American rivers totalled about 35 × 1012 ± 5 × 1012 gC yr-1 in 1977 and 1978. The total organic carbon flux to the oceans associated with the long-term average annual flow in North American rivers was computed to be about 40 × 1012 gC yr-1, slightly larger than that in 1977 and 1978 because of the lower-than-average runoff in some regions those years.DOI: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1982.tb01805.x
  • References (31)
    31 references, page 1 of 4

    Baker, C. D., Bartlett, P. D., Farr, I. S.and Williams, G. I. 1974. Improved methods for the measurement of dissolved and particulate organic carbon in fresh water and their application to chalk streams. Freshwater Biol. 4,467-48 1.

    Bilby, R. E. and Likens, G. E. 1979. Effect of hydrologic fluctuations on the transport of fine particulate organic carbon in a small stream. Limnol. Oceanog. 24, 69-15.

    Brinson, M. M. 1976. Organic matter losses from four watersheds in the humid tropics. Limnol. Oceanog. 21, 572-582.

    Comiskey, C. E. 1978. Aspects of the organic carbon cycle on Walker Branch Watershed: A study of land/water interaction. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee. 508 pp.

    Dahm, C. N. 1980. Studies on the distribution and fate of dissolved organic carbon. Dissertation, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. 145 pp.

    Dernayo, A. and Hunt, E. 1975. NAQUADAT Users Manual. Inland Waters Directorate, Water Quality Branch, Ottawa, Canada.

    Elwood, J. W. and Henderson, G. S. 1975. Hydrologic and Chemical Budgets at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In Coupling of land and water systems (ed. A. D. Hasler). New York: Springer-Verlag,3 1-5 1.

    Environment Canada. 1979. Analytical Methods Manual. Water Quality Branch, Inland Waters Directorate, Ottawa, Canada.

    Fisher, S. G. 1977. Organic matter processing by a stream segment ecosystem: Fort River, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. 62, 701-727.

    Fisher, S. G. and Likens, G. E. 1973. Energy flow in Bear Brook, New Hampshire: An integrative approach to stream ecosystem metabolism. Ecol. Monogr. 43,421-439.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark