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See detailOrganic matter sources, fluxes and greenhouse gas exchange in the Oubangui River (Congo River basin)
Bouillon, S.; Yambélé, A.; Spencer, R.G.M. et al

in Biogeosciences (2012), 9

The Oubangui is a major tributary of the Congo River, draining an area of 500 000 km2 mainly consisting of wooded savannahs. Here, we report results of a one year long, 2-weekly sampling campaign in ... [more ▼]

The Oubangui is a major tributary of the Congo River, draining an area of 500 000 km2 mainly consisting of wooded savannahs. Here, we report results of a one year long, 2-weekly sampling campaign in Bangui (Central African Republic) since March 2010 for a suite of physicochemical and biogeochemical characteristics, including total suspended matter (TSM), bulk concentration and stable isotope composition of particulate organic carbon (POC and 13CPOC), particulate nitrogen (PN and 15NPN), dissolved organic carbon (DOC and 13CDOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC and 13CDIC), dissolved greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O), and dissolved ignin composition. 13C signatures of both POC and DOC showed strong seasonal variations −30.6 to −25.8 ‰, and −31.8 to −27.1 ‰, respectively), but their different timing indicates that the origins of POC and DOC may vary strongly over the hydrograph and are largely ncoupled, differing up to 6‰ in 13C signatures. Dissolved lignin characteristics (carbon- ormalised yields, cinnamyl:vanillyl phenol ratios, and vanillic acid to vanillin ratios) showed arked differences between high and low discharge conditions, consistent with major seasonal ariations in the sources of dissolved organic matter. We observed a strong seasonality in pCO2, ranging between 470 ± 203 ppm for Q<1000m3 s−1 (n = 10) to a maximum of 3750 pm during the first stage of the rising discharge. The low POC/PN ratios, high %POCand low and variable 13CPOC signatures during low flow conditions suggest that the majority of the POC pool during this period consists of in situ produced phytoplankton, consistent with oncurrent pCO2 (partial pressure of CO2) values only slightly above and, occasionally, below atmospheric equilibrium. Water-atmosphere CO2 fluxes estimated using two independent pproaches averaged 105 and 204 gCm−2 yr−1, i.e. more than an order of magnitude lower than current estimates for large tropical rivers globally. Although tropical rivers are often ssumed to show much higher CO2 effluxes compared to temperate systems, we show that in situ production may be high enough to dominate the particulate organic carbon pool, and lower CO2 values to near equilibrium values during low discharge conditions. The total annual flux of TSM, POC, PN, DOC and DIC are 2.33 Tg yr−1, 0.14 TgC yr−1, 0.014 TgNyr−1, 0.70 TgC yr−1, and 0.49 Tg Cyr−1, respectively. While our TSM and POC fluxes are similar to previous stimates for the Oubangui, DOC fluxes were 30% higher and bicarbonate fluxes were 35% ower than previous reports. DIC represented 58% of the total annual C flux, and under the ssumptions that carbonate weathering represents 25% of the DIC flux and that CO2 from espiration drives chemical weathering, this flux is equivalent to 50% of terrestrial-derived riverine C transport. [less ▲]

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