The pulse of the Amazon: fluxes of dissolved organic carbon, nutrients, and ions from the world's largest river
Drake, Travis W.
Hemingway, Jordon D.
Brown, Kristina A.
Holmes, Robert M.
Moura, José M.
Spencer, Robert G. M.
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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.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2021. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles 35(4), (2021): e2020GB006895, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GB006895.
Suggested CitationDrake, T. W., Hemingway, J. D., Kurek, M. R., Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B., Brown, K. A., Holmes, R. M., Galy, V., Moura, J. M. S., Mitsuya, M., Wassenaar, L., I., Six, J., & Spencer, R. G. M. (2021). The pulse of the Amazon: fluxes of dissolved organic carbon, nutrients, and ions from the world's largest river. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 35(4), e2020GB006895.
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