Inorganic carbon speciation and fluxes in the Congo River

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Date
2013-02-14
Authors
Wang, Zhaohui Aleck
Bienvenu, Dinga Jean
Mann, Paul J.
Hoering, Katherine A.
Poulsen, John R.
Spencer, Robert G. M.
Holmes, Robert M.
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10.1002/grl.50160
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Keywords
Inorganic carbon
Carbon dioxide
Carbon fluxes
pH
Alkalinity
Congo River
Abstract
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.
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Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013): 511–516, doi:10.1002/grl.50160.
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Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013): 511–516
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