New paper explores inorganic carbon cycling in a reservoir within the largest karst area of the world in SW China

Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Wanfa Wang, a former ERG International Visiting Graduate Student from Tianjin University, published a new paper in the Journal of Hydrology describing his PhD research on carbon cycling in dam reservoirs in karst regions. Co-authors from ERG include Steph Slowinski, Shuhuan Li and Philippe Van Cappellen. Chemical and physical carbonate rock weathering in karst regions supply large quantities of particulate and dissolved inorganic carbon (PIC and DIC) to rivers and, ultimately, to the ocean. The growing number of dams in karst regions, however, alters the riverine transport of PIC and DIC by enhancing the in-reservoir biogeochemical cycling of inorganic carbon. Here, for the first time, the authors combine stable (δ13C) and radioactive (Δ14C) carbon isotope measurements to delineate the biogeochemical processes that control the spatial trends of PIC and DIC concentrations (and, by extension, those of the partial pressure and efflux of CO2) throughout a karst river-reservoir system. The study was carried out in the Hongjiadu reservoir, the main reservoir in the upper reach of the Wujiang River, which is part of the southern tributary system of the Changjiang River and located in the center of the largest karst area in the world. To download the paper, please follow this LINK.