Spencer Robert G. M.

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
Spencer
First Name
Robert G. M.
ORCID
0000-0003-0777-0748

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 14 of 14
  • Article
    Drivers of organic molecular signatures in the Amazon River
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-06-11) Kurek, Martin ; Stubbins, Aron ; Drake, Travis W. ; Moura, José M. S. ; Holmes, Robert M. ; Osterholz, Helena ; Dittmar, Thorsten ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Mitsuya, Miyuki ; Spencer, Robert G. M.
    As climate-driven El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events are projected to increase in frequency and severity, much attention has focused on impacts regarding ecosystem productivity and carbon balance in Amazonian rainforests, with comparatively little attention given to carbon dynamics in fluvial ecosystems. In this study, we compared the wet 2012 La Niña period to the following normal hydrologic period in the Amazon River. Elevated water flux during the La Niña period was accompanied by dilution of inorganic ion concentrations. Furthermore, the La Niña period exported 2.77 Tg C yr−1 more dissolved organic carbon (DOC) than the normal period, an increase greater than the annual amount of DOC exported by the Mississippi River. Using ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry, we detected both intra- and interannual differences in dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition, revealing that DOM exported during the dry season and the normal period was more aliphatic, whereas compounds in the wet season and following the La Niña event were more aromatic, with ramifications for its environmental role. Furthermore, as this study has the highest temporal resolution DOM compositional data for the Amazon River to-date we showed that compounds were highly correlated to a 6-month lag in Pacific temperature and pressure anomalies, suggesting that ENSO events could impact DOM composition exported to the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, as ENSO events increase in frequency and severity into the future it seems likely that there will be downstream consequences for the fate of Amazon Basin-derived DOM concurrent with lag periods as described here.
  • Article
    Large subglacial source of mercury from the southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet
    (Nature Research, 2021-05-24) Hawkings, Jon ; Linhoff, Benjamin S. ; Wadham, Jemma L. ; Stibal, Marek ; Lamborg, Carl H. ; Carling, Gregory T. ; Lamarche-Gagnon, Guillaume ; Kohler, Tyler J. ; Ward, Rachael ; Hendry, Katharine R. ; Falteisek, Lukáš ; Kellerman, Anne M. ; Cameron, Karen A. ; Hatton, Jade E. ; Tingey, Sarah ; Holt, Amy D. ; Vinšová, Petra ; Hofer, Stefan ; Bulínová, Marie ; Větrovský, Tomáš ; Meire, Lorenz ; Spencer, Robert G. M.
    The Greenland Ice Sheet is currently not accounted for in Arctic mercury budgets, despite large and increasing annual runoff to the ocean and the socio-economic concerns of high mercury levels in Arctic organisms. Here we present concentrations of mercury in meltwaters from three glacial catchments on the southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet and evaluate the export of mercury to downstream fjords based on samples collected during summer ablation seasons. We show that concentrations of dissolved mercury are among the highest recorded in natural waters and mercury yields from these glacial catchments (521–3,300 mmol km−2 year−1) are two orders of magnitude higher than from Arctic rivers (4–20 mmol km−2 year−1). Fluxes of dissolved mercury from the southwestern region of Greenland are estimated to be globally significant (15.4–212 kmol year−1), accounting for about 10% of the estimated global riverine flux, and include export of bioaccumulating methylmercury (0.31–1.97 kmol year−1). High dissolved mercury concentrations (~20 pM inorganic mercury and ~2 pM methylmercury) were found to persist across salinity gradients of fjords. Mean particulate mercury concentrations were among the highest recorded in the literature (~51,000 pM), and dissolved mercury concentrations in runoff exceed reported surface snow and ice values. These results suggest a geological source of mercury at the ice sheet bed. The high concentrations of mercury and its large export to the downstream fjords have important implications for Arctic ecosystems, highlighting an urgent need to better understand mercury dynamics in ice sheet runoff under global warming.
  • Article
    Inorganic carbon speciation and fluxes in the Congo River
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-02-14) Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Bienvenu, Dinga Jean ; Mann, Paul J. ; Hoering, Katherine A. ; Poulsen, John R. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Holmes, Robert M.
    Seasonal variations in inorganic carbon chemistry and associated fluxes from the Congo River were investigated at Brazzaville-Kinshasa. Small seasonal variation in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) was found in contrast with discharge-correlated changes in pH, total alkalinity (TA), carbonate species, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). DIC was almost always greater than TA due to the importance of CO2*, the sum of dissolved CO2 and carbonic acid, as a result of low pH. Organic acids in DOC contributed 11–61% of TA and had a strong titration effect on water pH and carbonate speciation. The CO2* and bicarbonate fluxes accounted for ~57% and 43% of the DIC flux, respectively. Congo River surface water released CO2 at a rate of ~109 mol m−2 yr−1. The basin-wide DIC yield was ~8.84 × 104 mol km−2 yr−1. The discharge normalized DIC flux to the ocean amounted to 3.11 × 1011 mol yr−1. The DOC titration effect on the inorganic carbon system may also be important on a global scale for regulating carbon fluxes in rivers.
  • Article
    The pulse of the Amazon: fluxes of dissolved organic carbon, nutrients, and ions from the world's largest river
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-03-15) Drake, Travis W. ; Hemingway, Jordon D. ; Kurek, Martin ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Brown, Kristina A. ; Holmes, Robert M. ; Galy, Valier ; Moura, José M. ; Mitsuya, Miyuki ; Wassenaar, Leonard ; Six, Johan ; Spencer, Robert G. M.
    The Amazon River drains a diverse tropical landscape greater than 6 million km2, culminating in the world's largest export of freshwater and dissolved constituents to the ocean. Here, we present dissolved organic carbon (DOC), organic and inorganic nitrogen (DON, DIN), orthophosphate (PO43−), and major and trace ion concentrations and fluxes from the Amazon River using 26 samples collected over three annual hydrographs. Concentrations and fluxes were predominantly controlled by the annual wet season flood pulse. Average DOC, DON, DIN, and PO43− fluxes (±1 s.d.) were 25.5 (±1.0), 1.14 (±0.05), 0.82 (±0.03), and 0.063 (±0.003) Tg yr−1, respectively. Chromophoric dissolved organic matter absorption (at 350 nm) was strongly correlated with DOC concentrations, resulting in a flux of 74.8 × 106 m−2 yr−1. DOC and DON concentrations positively correlated with discharge while nitrate + nitrite concentrations negatively correlated, suggesting mobilization and dilution responses, respectively. Ammonium, PO43−, and silica concentrations displayed chemostatic responses to discharge. Major and trace ion concentrations displayed clockwise hysteresis (except for chloride, sodium, and rubidium) and exhibited either dilution or chemostatic responses. The sources of weathered cations also displayed seasonality, with the highest proportion of carbonate- and silicate-derived cations occurring during peak and baseflow, respectively. Finally, our seasonally resolved weathering model resulted in an average CO2 consumption yield of (3.55 ± 0.11) × 105 mol CO2 km−2 yr−1. These results represent an updated and temporally refined quantification of dissolved fluxes that highlight the strong seasonality of export from the world's largest river and set a robust baseline against which to gauge future change.
  • Article
    Limited presence of permafrost dissolved organic matter in the Kolyma River, Siberia revealed by ramped oxidation
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-07-09) Rogers, Jennifer A. ; Galy, Valier ; Kellerman, Anne M. ; Chanton, Jeffrey P. ; Zimov, Nikita S. ; Spencer, Robert G. M.
    Increasing Arctic temperatures are thawing permafrost soils and liberating ancient organic matter, but the fate of this material remains unclear. Thawing of permafrost releases dissolved organic matter (DOM) into fluvial networks. Unfortunately, tracking this material in Arctic rivers such as the Kolyma River in Siberia has proven challenging due to its high biodegradability. Here, we evaluate late summer abruptly thawed yedoma permafrost dissolved organic carbon (DOC) inputs from Duvannyi Yar. We implemented ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry alongside ramped pyrolysis oxidation (RPO) and isotopic analyses. These approaches offer insight into DOM chemical composition and DOC radiocarbon values of thermochemical components for a permafrost thaw stream, the Kolyma River, and their biodegraded counterparts (n = 4). The highly aliphatic molecular formula found in undegraded permafrost DOM contrasted with the comparatively aliphatic-poor formula of Kolyma River DOM, represented by an 8.9% and 2.6% relative abundance, respectively, suggesting minimal inputs of undegraded permafrost DOM in the river. RPO radiocarbon fractions of Kolyma River DOC exhibited no “hidden” aged component indicative of permafrost influence. Thermostability analyses suggested that there was limited biodegraded permafrost DOC in the Kolyma River, in part determined by the formation of high-activation energy (thermally stable) biodegradation components in permafrost DOM that were lacking in the Kolyma River. A mixing model based on thermostability and radiocarbon allowed us to estimate a maximum input of between 0.8% and 7.7% of this Pleistocene-aged permafrost to the Kolyma River DOC. Ultimately, our findings highlight that export of modern terrestrial DOC currently overwhelms any permafrost DOC inputs in the Kolyma River.
  • Article
    Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire : an expert assessment
    (IOPScience, 2016-03-07) Abbott, Benjamin W. ; Jones, Jeremy B. ; Schuur, Edward A. G. ; Chapin, F. Stuart ; Bowden, William B. ; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia ; Epstein, Howard E. ; Flannigan, Michael ; Harms, Tamara K. ; Hollingsworth, Teresa N. ; Mack, Michelle C. ; McGuire, A. David ; Natali, Susan M. ; Rocha, Adrian V. ; Tank, Suzanne E. ; Turetsky, Merritt R. ; Vonk, Jorien E. ; Wickland, Kimberly ; Aiken, George R. ; Alexander, Heather D. ; Amon, Rainer M. W. ; Benscoter, Brian ; Bergeron, Yves ; Bishop, Kevin ; Blarquez, Olivier ; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin ; Breen, Amy L. ; Buffam, Ishi ; Cai, Yihua ; Carcaillet, Christopher ; Carey, Sean K. ; Chen, Jing M. ; Chen, Han Y. H. ; Christensen, Torben R. ; Cooper, Lee W. ; Cornelissen, Johannes H. C. ; de Groot, William J. ; DeLuca, Thomas Henry ; Dorrepaal, Ellen ; Fetcher, Ned ; Finlay, Jacques C. ; Forbes, Bruce C. ; French, Nancy H. F. ; Gauthier, Sylvie ; Girardin, Martin ; Goetz, Scott J. ; Goldammer, Johann G. ; Gough, Laura ; Grogan, Paul ; Guo, Laodong ; Higuera, Philip E. ; Hinzman, Larry ; Hu, Feng Sheng ; Hugelius, Gustaf ; JAFAROV, ELCHIN ; Jandt, Randi ; Johnstone, Jill F. ; Karlsson, Jan ; Kasischke, Eric S. ; Kattner, Gerhard ; Kelly, Ryan ; Keuper, Frida ; Kling, George W. ; Kortelainen, Pirkko ; Kouki, Jari ; Kuhry, Peter ; Laudon, Hjalmar ; Laurion, Isabelle ; Macdonald, Robie W. ; Mann, Paul J. ; Martikainen, Pertti ; McClelland, James W. ; Molau, Ulf ; Oberbauer, Steven F. ; Olefeldt, David ; Paré, David ; Parisien, Marc-André ; Payette, Serge ; Peng, Changhui ; Pokrovsky, Oleg ; Rastetter, Edward B. ; Raymond, Peter A. ; Raynolds, Martha K. ; Rein, Guillermo ; Reynolds, James F. ; Robards, Martin ; Rogers, Brendan ; Schädel, Christina ; Schaefer, Kevin ; Schmidt, Inger K. ; Shvidenko, Anatoly ; Sky, Jasper ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Starr, Gregory ; Striegl, Robert ; Teisserenc, Roman ; Tranvik, Lars J. ; Virtanen, Tarmo ; Welker, Jeffrey M. ; Zimov, Sergey A.
    As the permafrost region warms, its large organic carbon pool will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition, combustion, and hydrologic export. Models predict that some portion of this release will be offset by increased production of Arctic and boreal biomass; however, the lack of robust estimates of net carbon balance increases the risk of further overshooting international emissions targets. Precise empirical or model-based assessments of the critical factors driving carbon balance are unlikely in the near future, so to address this gap, we present estimates from 98 permafrost-region experts of the response of biomass, wildfire, and hydrologic carbon flux to climate change. Results suggest that contrary to model projections, total permafrost-region biomass could decrease due to water stress and disturbance, factors that are not adequately incorporated in current models. Assessments indicate that end-of-the-century organic carbon release from Arctic rivers and collapsing coastlines could increase by 75% while carbon loss via burning could increase four-fold. Experts identified water balance, shifts in vegetation community, and permafrost degradation as the key sources of uncertainty in predicting future system response. In combination with previous findings, results suggest the permafrost region will become a carbon source to the atmosphere by 2100 regardless of warming scenario but that 65%–85% of permafrost carbon release can still be avoided if human emissions are actively reduced.
  • Article
    Particulate organic carbon and nitrogen export from major Arctic rivers
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-05-11) McClelland, James W. ; Holmes, Robert M. ; Peterson, Bruce J. ; Raymond, Peter A. ; Striegl, Robert ; Zhulidov, Alexander V. ; Zimov, Sergey A. ; Zimov, Nikita ; Tank, Suzanne E. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Staples, Robin ; Gurtovaya, Tatiana Y. ; Griffin, Claire G.
    Northern rivers connect a land area of approximately 20.5 million km2 to the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas. These rivers account for ~10% of global river discharge and transport massive quantities of dissolved and particulate materials that reflect watershed sources and impact biogeochemical cycling in the ocean. In this paper, multiyear data sets from a coordinated sampling program are used to characterize particulate organic carbon (POC) and particulate nitrogen (PN) export from the six largest rivers within the pan-Arctic watershed (Yenisey, Lena, Ob', Mackenzie, Yukon, Kolyma). Together, these rivers export an average of 3055 × 109 g of POC and 368 × 109 g of PN each year. Scaled up to the pan-Arctic watershed as a whole, fluvial export estimates increase to 5767 × 109 g and 695 × 109 g of POC and PN per year, respectively. POC export is substantially lower than dissolved organic carbon export by these rivers, whereas PN export is roughly equal to dissolved nitrogen export. Seasonal patterns in concentrations and source/composition indicators (C:N, δ13C, Δ14C, δ15N) are broadly similar among rivers, but distinct regional differences are also evident. For example, average radiocarbon ages of POC range from ~2000 (Ob') to ~5500 (Mackenzie) years before present. Rapid changes within the Arctic system as a consequence of global warming make it challenging to establish a contemporary baseline of fluvial export, but the results presented in this paper capture variability and quantify average conditions for nearly a decade at the beginning of the 21st century.
  • Article
    Isotopic evidence for sources of dissolved carbon and the role of organic matter respiration in the Fraser River basin, Canada
    (Springer, 2022-07-10) Voss, Britta M. ; Eglinton, Timothy I. ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Galy, Valier ; Lang, Susan Q. ; McIntyre, Cameron P. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Bulygina, Ekaterina ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Guay, Katherine A.
    Sources of dissolved and particulate carbon to the Fraser River system vary significantly in space and time. Tributaries in the northern interior of the basin consistently deliver higher concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the main stem than other tributaries. Based on samples collected near the Fraser River mouth throughout 2013, the radiocarbon age of DOC exported from the Fraser River does not change significantly across seasons despite a spike in DOC concentration during the freshet, suggesting modulation of heterogeneous upstream chemical and isotopic signals during transit through the river basin. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations are highest in the Rocky Mountain headwater region where carbonate weathering is evident, but also in tributaries with high DOC concentrations, suggesting that DOC respiration may be responsible for a significant portion of DIC in this basin. Using an isotope and major ion mass balance approach to constrain the contributions of carbonate and silicate weathering and DOC respiration, we estimate that up to 33 ± 11% of DIC is derived from DOC respiration in some parts of the Fraser River basin. Overall, these results indicate close coupling between the cycling of DOC and DIC, and that carbon is actively processed and transformed during transport through the river network.
  • Article
    The biogeochemistry of carbon across a gradient of streams and rivers within the Congo Basin
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-04-30) Mann, Paul J. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Dinga, Bienvenu J. ; Poulsen, John R. ; Hernes, P. J. ; Fiske, Gregory J. ; Salter, M. E. ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Hoering, Katherine A. ; Six, J. ; Holmes, Robert M.
    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and inorganic carbon (DIC, pCO2), lignin biomarkers, and theoptical properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) were measured in a gradient of streams and rivers within the Congo Basin, with the aim of examining how vegetation cover and hydrology influences the composition and concentration of fluvial carbon (C). Three sampling campaigns (February 2010, November 2010, and August 2011) spanning 56 sites are compared by subbasin watershed land cover type (savannah, tropical forest, and swamp) and hydrologic regime (high, intermediate, and low). Land cover properties predominately controlled the amount and quality of DOC, chromophoric DOM (CDOM) and lignin phenol concentrations (∑8) exported in streams and rivers throughout the Congo Basin. Higher DIC concentrations and changing DOM composition (lower molecular weight, less aromatic C) during periods of low hydrologic flow indicated shifting rapid overland supply pathways in wet conditions to deeper groundwater inputs during drier periods. Lower DOC concentrations in forest and swamp subbasins were apparent with increasing catchment area, indicating enhanced DOC loss with extended water residence time. Surface water pCO2 in savannah and tropical forest catchments ranged between 2,600 and 11,922 µatm, with swamp regions exhibiting extremely high pCO2 (10,598–15,802 µatm), highlighting their potential as significant pathways for water-air efflux. Our data suggest that the quantity and quality of DOM exported to streams and rivers are largely driven by terrestrial ecosystem structure and that anthropogenic land use or climate change may impact fluvial C composition and reactivity, with ramifications for regional C budgets and future climate scenarios.
  • Article
    Seasonal hydrology drives rapid shifts in the flux and composition of dissolved and particulate organic carbon and major and trace ions in the Fraser River, Canada
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2015-10-01) Voss, Britta M. ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Eglinton, Timothy I. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Bulygina, Ekaterina ; Galy, Valier ; Lamborg, Carl H. ; Ganguli, Priya M. ; Montlucon, Daniel B. ; Marsh, Steve ; Gillies, Sharon L. ; Fanslau, Jenna ; Epp, A. ; Luymes, Rosalie
    Rapid changes in the volume and sources of discharge during the spring freshet lead to pronounced variations in biogeochemical properties in snowmelt-dominated river basins. We used daily sampling during the onset of the freshet in the Fraser River (southwestern Canada) in 2013 to identify rapid changes in the flux and composition of dissolved material, with a focus on dissolved organic matter (DOM). Previous time series sampling (at twice monthly frequency) of dissolved inorganic species in the Fraser River has revealed smooth seasonal transitions in concentrations of major ions and tracers of water and dissolved load sources between freshet and base flow periods. In contrast, daily sampling reveals a significant increase in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration (200 to 550 μmol L−1) occurring over a matter of days, accompanied by a shift in DOM optical properties, indicating a transition towards higher molecular weight, more aromatic DOM composition. Comparable changes in DOM composition, but not concentration, occur at other times of year, underscoring the role of seasonal climatology in DOM cycling. A smaller data set of total and dissolved Hg concentrations also showed variability during the spring freshet period, although dissolved Hg dynamics appear to be driven by factors beyond DOM as characterized here. The time series records of DOC and particulate organic carbon (POC) concentrations indicate that the Fraser River exports 0.25–0.35 % of its annual basin net primary productivity. The snowmelt-dominated hydrology, forested land cover, and minimal reservoir impoundment of the Fraser River may influence the DOC yield of the basin, which is high relative to the nearby Columbia River and of similar magnitude to that of the Yukon River to the north. Anticipated warming and decreased snowfall due to climate changes in the region may cause an overall decrease in DOM flux from the Fraser River to the coastal ocean in coming decades
  • Preprint
    Sulfur isotopes in rivers : insights into global weathering budgets, pyrite oxidation, and the modern sulfur cycle
    ( 2018-05) Burke, Andrea ; Present, Theodore M. ; Paris, Guillaume ; Rae, Emily C. M. ; Sandilands, Brodie H. ; Gaillardet, Jerome ; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard ; Fischer, Woodward W. ; McClelland, James W. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Voss, Britta M. ; Adkins, Jess F.
    The biogeochemical sulfur cycle is intimately linked to the cycles of carbon, iron, and oxygen, and plays an important role in global climate via weathering reactions and aerosols. However, many aspects of the modern budget of the global sulfur cycle are not fully understood. We present new δ34S measurements on sulfate from more than 160 river samples from different geographical and climatic regions—more than 46% of the world’s freshwater flux to the ocean is accounted for in this estimate of the global riverine sulfur isotope budget. These measurements include major rivers and their tributaries, as well as time series, and are combined with previously published data to estimate the modern flux-weighted global riverine δ34S as 4.4 ± 4.5 ‰ (V-CDT), and 4.8 ± 4.9 ‰ when the most polluted rivers are excluded. Combined with major anion and cation concentrations, the sulfur isotope data allow us to tease apart the relative contributions of different processes to the modern riverine sulfur budget, resulting in new estimates of the flux of riverine sulfate due to the oxidative weathering of pyrites (1.3 ± 0.2 Tmol S/y) and the weathering of sedimentary sulfate minerals (1.5 ± 0.2 Tmol S/y). These data indicate that previous estimates of the global oxidative weathering of pyrite have been too low by a factor of two. As pyrite oxidation coupled to carbonate weathering can act as a source of CO2 to the atmosphere, this global pyrite weathering budget implies that the global CO2 weathering sink is overestimated. Furthermore, the large range of sulfur isotope ratios in modern rivers indicates that secular changes in the lithologies exposed to weathering through time could play a major role in driving past variations in δ34S of seawater.
  • Preprint
    Hydrologic controls on seasonal and inter-annual variability of Congo River particulate organic matter source and reservoir age
    ( 2017-06) Hemingway, Jordon D. ; Schefuß, Enno ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Dinga, Bienvenu J. ; Eglinton, Timothy I. ; McIntyre, Cameron P. ; Galy, Valier
    We present dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, particulate organic matter (POM) composition (δ13C, δ15N, ∆14C, N/C), and particulate glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) distributions from a 34-month time-series near the mouth of the Congo River. An end-member mixing model using δ13C and N/C indicates that exported POM is consistently dominated by C3 rainforest soil sources, with increasing contribution from C3 vegetation and decreasing contribution from phytoplankton at high discharge. Large C4 inputs are never observed despite covering ≈ 13 % of the catchment. Low and variable ∆14C values during 2011 [annual mean = (-148 ± 82) ‰], when discharge from left-bank tributaries located in the southern hemisphere reached record lows, likely reflect a bias toward pre-aged POM derived from the Cuvette Congolaise swamp forest. In contrast, ∆14C values were stable near -50 ‰ between January and June 2013, when left-bank discharge was highest. We suggest that headwater POM is replaced and/or diluted by C3 vegetation and pre-aged soils during transit through the Cuvette Congolaise, whereas left-bank tributaries export significantly less pre-aged material. GDGT distributions provide further evidence for seasonal and inter-annual variability in soil provenance. The cyclization of branched tetraethers and the GDGT-0 to crenarchaeol ratio are positively correlated with discharge (r ≥ 0.70; p-value ≤ 4.3×10-5) due to the incorporation of swamp-forest soils when discharge from right-bank tributaries located in the northern hemisphere is high. Both metrics reach record lows during 2013, supporting our interpretation of increased left-bank contribution at this time. We conclude that hydrologic variability is a major control of POM provenance in the Congo River Basin and that tropical wetlands can be a significant POM source despite their small geographic coverage.
  • Preprint
    Glacier meltwater and monsoon precipitation drive Upper Ganges Basin dissolved organic matter composition
    (Elsevier, 2019-01-01) Hemingway, Jordon D. ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Podgorski, David C. ; Zito, Phoebe ; Sen, Indra S. ; Galy, Valier
    Mountain glaciers store dissolved organic carbon (DOC) that can be exported to river networks and subsequently respired to CO2. Despite this potential importance within the global carbon cycle, the seasonal variability and downstream transport of glacier-derived DOC in mountainous river basins remains largely unknown. To provide novel insight, here we present DOC concentrations and molecular-level dissolved organic matter (DOM) compositions from 22 nested, glaciated catchments (1.4 – 81.8 % glacier cover by area) in the Upper Ganges Basin, Western Himalaya over the course of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) in 2014. Aliphatic and peptide-like compounds were abundant in glaciated headwaters but were overprinted by soil-derived phenolic, polyphenolic and condensed aromatic material as DOC concentrations increase moving downstream. Across the basin, DOC concentrations and soil-derived compound class contributions decreased sharply from pre- to post-ISM, implying increased relative contribution of glaciated headwater signals as the monsoon progresses. Incubation experiments further revealed a strong compositional control on the fraction of bioavailable DOC (BDOC), with glacier-derived DOC exhibiting the highest bioavailability. We hypothesize that short-term (i.e. in the coming decades) increases in glacier melt flux driven by climate change will further bias exported DOM toward an aliphatic-rich, bioavailable signal, especially during the ISM and post-ISM seasons. In contrast, eventual decreases in glacier melt flux due to mass loss will likely lead to more a soil-like DOM composition and lower bioavailability of exported DOC in the long term.
  • Article
    Constraints on the timing and extent of deglacial grounding line retreat in West Antarctica
    (American Geophysical Union, 2023-04-26) Venturelli, Ryan A. ; Boehman, Brenna ; Davis, Christina ; Hawkings, Jon R. ; Johnston, Sarah E. ; Gustafson, Chloe D. ; Michaud, Alexander B. ; Mosbeux, Cyrille ; Siegfried, Matthew R. ; Vick‐Majors, Trista J. ; Galy, Valier ; Spencer, Robert G. M. ; Warny, Sophie ; Christner, Brent C. ; Fricker, Helen A. ; Harwood, David M. ; Leventer, Amy ; Priscu, John C. ; Rosenheim, Brad E.
    Projections of Antarctica's contribution to future sea level rise are associated with significant uncertainty, in part because the observational record is too short to capture long‐term processes necessary to estimate ice mass changes over societally relevant timescales. Records of grounding line retreat from the geologic past offer an opportunity to extend our observations of these processes beyond the modern record and to gain a more comprehensive understanding of ice‐sheet change. Here, we present constraints on the timing and inland extent of deglacial grounding line retreat in the southern Ross Sea, Antarctica, obtained via direct sampling of a subglacial lake located 150 km inland from the modern grounding line and beneath >1 km of ice. Isotopic measurements of water and sediment from the lake enabled us to evaluate how the subglacial microbial community accessed radiocarbon‐bearing organic carbon for energy, as well as where it transferred carbon metabolically. Using radiocarbon as a natural tracer, we found that sedimentary organic carbon was microbially translocated to dissolved carbon pools in the subglacial hydrologic system during the 4.5‐year period of water accumulation prior to our sampling. This finding indicates that the grounding line along the Siple Coast of West Antarctica retreated more than 250 km inland during the mid‐Holocene (6.3 ± 1.0 ka), prior to re‐advancing to its modern position.