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Mika Erik Tapio Sillanpää

Export of Dissolved Organic Carbon from the Source Region of Yangtze River in the Tibetan Plateau

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  • Xiaoni You, Tianshui Normal University
  • ,
  • Xiangying Li, Northwest University China
  • ,
  • Mika Sillanpää
  • Rong Wang, Tianshui Normal University
  • ,
  • Chengyong Wu, Tianshui Normal University
  • ,
  • Qiangqiang Xu, Tianshui Normal University

The carbon release and transport in rivers are expected to increase in a warming climate with enhanced melting. We present a continuous dataset of DOC in the river, precipitation, and groundwater, including air temperature, discharge, and precipitation in the source region of the Yangtze River (SRYR). Our study shows that the average concentrations of DOC in the three end-members are characterized as the sequence of groundwater > precipitation > river, which is related to the water volume, cycle period, and river flow speed. The seasonality of DOC in the river is observed as the obvious bimodal structure at Tuotuohe (TTH) and Zhimenda (ZMD) gauging stations. The highest concentration appears in July (2.4 mg L−1 at TTH and 2.1 mg L−1 at ZMD) and the secondary high value (2.2 mg L−1 at TTH 1.9 mg L−1 at ZMD) emerges from August to September. It is estimated that 459 and 6751 tons of DOC are transported by the river at TTH and ZMD, respectively. Although the wet deposition flux of DOC is nearly ten times higher than the river flux, riverine DOC still primarily originates from soil erosion of the basin rather than precipitation settlement. Riverine DOC fluxes are positively correlated with discharge, suggesting DOC fluxes are likely to increase in the future. Our findings highlight that permafrost degradation and glacier retreat have a great effect on DOC concentration in rivers and may become increasingly important for regional biogeochemical cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2441
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • DOC, Groundwater, Precipitation, River water, Yangtze River

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