Constraining Instantaneous Fluxes and Integrated Compositions of Fluvially Discharged Organic Matter Academic Article uri icon


  • Fluvial export of organic carbon (OC) and burial in ocean sediments comprises an important carbon sink, but fluxes remain poorly constrained, particularly for specific organic components. Here OC and lipid biomarker contents and isotopic characteristics of suspended matter determined in depth profiles across an active channel close to the terminus of the Danube River are used to constrain instantaneous OC and biomarker fluxes and integrated compositions during high to moderate discharges. During high (moderate) discharge, the total Danube exports 8 (7) kg/s OC, 7 (3) g/s higher plant?derived long?chain fatty acids (LCFA), 34 (21) g/s short?chain fatty acids (SCFA), and 0.5 (0.2) g/s soil bacterial membrane lipids (brGDGTs). Integrated stable carbon isotopic compositions were TOC: ?28.0 (?27.6)‰, LCFA: ?33.5 (?32.8)‰ and ?14C TOC: ?129 (?38)‰, LCFA: ?134 (?143)‰, respectively. Such estimates will aid in establishing quantitative links between production, export, and burial of OC from the terrestrial biosphere.

publication date

  • August 2018