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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-82
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-82
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 28 Jan 2019

Research article | 28 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).

Characteristics of soil profile CO2 concentrations in karst areas and its significance for global carbon cycles and climate change

Qiao Chen Qiao Chen
  • Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Depositional Mineralization & Sedimentary Minerals, College of Earth Science & Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao

Abstract. CO2 concentrations of 21 soil profiles were measured in Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province. The varying characteristics of soil profile CO2 concentration are distinguishable between carbonate and non-carbonate areas. In non-carbonate areas, soil profile CO2 concentrations increase and show significant positive correlations with soil depth. In carbonate areas, however, deep soil CO2 concentrations decrease and have no significant correlations with soil depth. Soil organic carbon is negatively correlated with soil CO2 concentrations in non-carbonate areas. In carbonate areas, such relationships are not clear. It means the special geological process in carbonate areas- carbonate corrosion- absorbs part of the deep soil profile CO2. Isotope and soil pH data also support such process.

Mathematical model simulating soil profile CO2 concentration was proposed. In non-carbonate areas, the measured and the simulated values are almost equal, while the measured CO2 concentrations of deep soils are less than the simulated in carbonate areas. Such results also indicate the occurrence of carbonate corrosion and the consuming of deep soil CO2 in carbonate areas. The decreased CO2 concentration was roughly evaluated based on stratigraphic unit and farming activities. Soil pH and the purity of CaCO3 in carbonate bedrock deeply affect the corrosion. The corrosion in carbonate areas decreases deep soil CO2 greatly (accounting for 10–70 %, with average of 36 %), and naturally affects the soil CO2 released into the atmosphere. Knowledge of this process is important for karst carbon cycles and global climate changes, and it may be a potential part of the missing sink.

Qiao Chen
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Short summary
The missing carbon sink has puzzled since carbon cycle is related to global climate. The varying characteristics of soil profile CO2 concentration in carbonate areas and non-carbonates were investigated, together with pH, SOC and istope. It is found that carbonate corrosion deeply consumes soil CO2, which accounts for 36 %. such process is important for karst carbon cycles and global climate changes, and may be a potential part of the missing sink.
The missing carbon sink has puzzled since carbon cycle is related to global climate. The varying...
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