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Climate and Anthropogenic PerturbationS of Land-Ocean Carbon tracKs (CAPS-LOCK)

English title Climate and Anthropogenic PerturbationS of Land-Ocean Carbon tracKs (CAPS-LOCK)
Applicant Eglinton Timothy
Number 140850
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Departement Erdwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geochemistry
Start/End 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2015
Approved amount 351'032.00
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Keywords (12)

carbon cycle; climate; continental margins; radiocarbon; rivers; proxies; drainage basin; terrestrial biosphere; biological markers; land use; soils; Anthropocene

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
In diesem Projekt werden klimatische und anthropogene Einflüsse auf den Transport von terrestrischem Kohlenstoff entlang von Flusssystemen, von der biologischen Quelle bis in die Ozeane, untersucht. An Kontinentalrändern abgelagerter organischer Kohlenstoff stellt eine wichtige Kohlenstoffsenke und aussagekräftige Aufzeichnung früherer Umweltbedingungen dar. Daher ist es entscheidend, die Herkunft dieses Kohlenstoffes zu kennen und zu verstehen, welche Faktoren die Transportzeit beeinflussen.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

An Proben, die während Feldkampagnen gesammelt werden sowie an schon vorhandenen Sedimentkernen wird die Herkunft und das Alter des im Flusssystem transportierten organischen Kohlenstoff bestimmt. Technische Analysen beinhalten Messungen der Isotopenzusammensetzung von spezifischen ’Marker-Molekülen’, die von Pflanzen oder aus Böden stammen. Im Speziellen wird mit Hilfe von radioaktiven Kohlenstoffisotopen das Alter dieser ’Marker’ und dadurch die Speicherung und Transportdauer im Flusseinzugsgebiet bestimmt. Die Donau wird in diesem Projekt als rezentes Modellflusssystem untersucht. Sie war und ist bis heute Klimaänderungen und anthropogenen Einflüssen ausgesetzt. Zusätzlich wird an Sedimentkernen, die nahe der Mündung der Donau und weiteren grossen Flusssystemen in die Ozeane gesammelt wurden, untersucht, wie sich die Transportdauer und die Menge an transportiertem organischen Kohlenstoff über die letzten Jahrtausende verändert hat.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Sedimente an Kontinentalrändern, die durch Flusseinträge geprägt sind, sind eine wichtige Senke für terrestrischen Kohlenstoff und bilden mit der Ablagerung eine Art Archiv, in dem die Umweltbedingungen der Vergangenheit festgehalten sind. Wissen über die Herkunft und Transportdauer des Kohlenstoffs, der von der terrestrischen Biosphäre über Flusssysteme bis in die Ozeane transportiert wird, gibt Aufschluss darüber, welche Rolle Flusssysteme im globalen Kohlenstoffkreislauf einnehmen und hilft, die sedimentären Ablagerungen zu interpretieren. In diesem Projekt werden genau diese Themen behandelt. Dadurch wird es die erste umfangreiche Untersuchung der Einflüsse früherer Klimaschwankungen und menschlicher Aktivität auf den Kohlenstoffkreislauf in Flusseinzugsgebieten während dem Anthropozän. Die Resultate werden einen Einblick geben, wie sensibel terrestrische Kohlenstoffspeicher auf klimatische und anthropogene Einflüsse reagieren.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 16.04.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Global carbon export from the terrestrial biosphere controlled by erosion
Galy Valier, Peucker-Ehrenbrink Bernhard, Eglinton Timothy (2015), Global carbon export from the terrestrial biosphere controlled by erosion, in Nature, 521, 204-207.
Multimolecular tracers of terrestrial carbon transfer across the pan-Arctic: 14C characteristics of sedimentary carbon components and their environmental controls
Feng Xiaojuan, Gustafsson Orjan, Holmes R. Max, Vonk Jorien, van Dongen Bart, Semiletov Igor, Dudarev Oleg, Yunker Mark, Macdonald Robie, Wacker Lukas, Montlucon Daniel, Eglinton Timothy (2015), Multimolecular tracers of terrestrial carbon transfer across the pan-Arctic: 14C characteristics of sedimentary carbon components and their environmental controls, in Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29, 1855-1873.
Multi-molecular tracers of terrestrial carbon transfer across the pan-Arctic: comparison of hydrolyzable components with plant wax lipids and lignin phenols
Feng Xiaojuan, Gustafsson Orjan, Holmes R. Max, Vonk Jorien, van Dongen Bart, Semiletov Igor, Dudarev O., Yunker Mark, Macdonald Robie, Montlucon Daniel, Eglinton Timothy (2015), Multi-molecular tracers of terrestrial carbon transfer across the pan-Arctic: comparison of hydrolyzable components with plant wax lipids and lignin phenols, in Biogeosciences, 12, 4841-4860.
Pre-aged soil organic carbon as a major component of the Yellow River suspended load: Regional significance and global relevance
Tao Shuqin, Eglinton Timothy, Montlucon Daniel, McIntyre Cameron, Zhao Meixun (2015), Pre-aged soil organic carbon as a major component of the Yellow River suspended load: Regional significance and global relevance, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 414, 77-86.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Meixun Zhao, Ocean University China, Qingdao China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Orjan Gustafsson, University of Stockholm Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Department Seminar Series Individual talk Molecular isotopic perspectives on organic carbon dynamics within present and past river basins 03.12.2015 University of Durham, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Eglinton Timothy;
International Symposium on Soil Organic Matter Talk given at a conference Molecular 14C perspectives on organic carbon dynamics within soils and across present and past landscapes 21.09.2015 Gottingen, Germany Eglinton Timothy;
Goldschmidt Conference Talk given at a conference A source-to-sink study of terrestrial organic carbon along the modern Danube river system 19.08.2015 Prague, Czech Republic Freymond Chantal Valérie;
Goldschmidt Conference Talk given at a conference Climate Control on the Timescales and Pathways of Carbon Export from the Terrestrial Biosphere 17.08.2015 Prague, Czech Republic Eglinton Timothy;
Workshop on Plant Waxes: From Biosynthesis to Burial Talk given at a conference Evolution of plant wax signatures within fluvial drainage basins 20.06.2015 Mt. Verita, Ascona, Switzerland Freymond Chantal Valérie;
AGU Fall Meeting 2014 Talk given at a conference Basin-wide investigation of terrestrial biomarker source to sink transport along a major modern fluvial system 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Freymond Chantal Valérie;
Department Seminar series Individual talk The provenance and age of terrestrial organic matter discharged from river basins 23.10.2014 Ocean University China, Qindgao, China Eglinton Timothy;
Gordon Research Conference on Organic Geochemistry Poster Towards a global perspective on the distribution and nature of organic matter buried in continental margin sediments 03.08.2014 Holderness, United States of America Usman Muhammed Ojoshogu;
Royal Society New Fellows Seminar series Talk given at a conference Clocking the speed of the carbon cycle 09.07.2014 Royal Society, London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Eglinton Timothy;
Kaplan Conference Talk given at a conference The dynamics of organic matter cycling on the continents and in the oceans 26.05.2014 Sdot Yam, Israel Eglinton Timothy;
GDGT-BASED PROXIES: STATE OF THE ART AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS Poster Evolution of the brGDGT composition of riverbank sediments along a major fluvial system 23.04.2014 Netherlands Institute for Oceanographic Research (NIOZ), Netherlands Freymond Chantal Valérie;
Department Seminar series Individual talk (Carbon) Tales of the Riverbank 18.10.2013 University of Newcastle, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Eglinton Timothy;
International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry Talk given at a conference Global Perspectives on Biospheric Carbon Storage and Transfer Times in River Basins 16.09.2013 Tenerife, Spain Eglinton Timothy;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
163162 Climate and Anthropogenic PerturbationS of Land-Ocean Carbon tracKs (CAPS-LOCK2) 01.01.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
174300 Sources and proportions of modern and aged organic carbon eroded from soils under different land-use within catchments in Nepal - Insights from compound-specific 13C & 14C analysis and novel mixing models 01.11.2017 Return CH Advanced Postdoc.Mobility
163162 Climate and Anthropogenic PerturbationS of Land-Ocean Carbon tracKs (CAPS-LOCK2) 01.01.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
166067 Geomorphic and climatic controls on riverine carbon export in active landscapes 01.10.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
184865 Climate and Anthropogenetic PertubationS of Land-Ocean Carbon tracKs (CAPS-LOCK3) 01.04.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The abundances, distributions, and isotopic signatures of source-specific ‘biomarker’ compounds preserved in aquatic sediments are increasingly being used to derive a diverse array of paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic information. With analytical advances and development of streamlined methodological approaches, there is growing emphasis on biomarker-based reconstructions of past climate at high temporal resolution, and as part of multi-proxy investigations. Many of these investigations are focused on continental margin settings characterized by strong terrestrial and aquatic inputs and enhanced sediment accumulation rates. On a global basis, continental margin sediments are locations of extensive burial of both marine and terrestrial carbon. The pace and efficacy of biospheric carbon sequestration within these systems represents a major factor in regulating atmospheric CO2.Crucial to the accurate interpretation of molecular proxy records embedded in continental margin sediments is a robust understanding of the provenance of the signals, as well as the timescales associated with their transfer from biological source to sedimentary sink. There is often an implicit assumption that the delivery of these signals to the sedimentary archive is virtually instantaneous, however there is growing evidence from biomarker 14C measurements that transport may take several hundred to several thousand years. Storage in soils and at other locations within terrestrial drainage basins may induce significant temporal lags, potentially aliasing marine and terrestrial proxy signals in down-core records. We hypothesize that the magnitude of such temporal lags may vary as a function of climate and other (e.g., anthropogenic) controls on biospheric carbon storage in terrestrial drainage basins, potentially yielding complex age relationships among proxy records through time, and influencing the dynamic of carbon exchange between atmospheric and marine sedimentary reservoirs. In this study, we propose a detailed examination of the temporal relationships between three different terrestrial biomarker proxies in well-dated continental margin sediment cores for which climate-driven changes have already been documented. We focus primarily on tropical regions where past changes in the hydrologic cycle appear to have influenced continental vegetation and, we suspect, carbon storage and transport within continental drainage basins. The approach involves measurement of the radiocarbon contents and other isotopic characteristics of specific molecular species (plant waxes, lignin-derived phenols, and soil bacteria-derived ether lipids) that both serve as tracers of terrestrial carbon and are employed extensively as proxies of continental vegetation and climate. There are two elements to the proposed project: (1) application of established and novel molecular isotopic methods to existing sediment cores that record past climate variability, and (2) examination of relationships between drainage basin characteristics of terrestrial carbon transport within a modern river system.In addition to consequences for interpretation of sediment records, changes in the delivery of carbon produced by the terrestrial biosphere to continental margin sediments may have significant implications for climate and anthropogenically-driven carbon redistribution between the atmospheric and long-term storage pools.
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