IRESS 2018 – Torres

The life and times of carbon in surface environments

Mark Torres, Rice University
The geologic cycling of carbon is multifaceted and key to Earth’s long-term habitability. Central to many aspects of the C cycle is the physical transport of terrestrial materials to the ocean and the biogeochemical transformations that occur during transport. Here, we use data and coupled models of fluvial morphodynamics and carbon cycling processes to infer how transport processes interact to control the quantity and character of both fossil sedimentary organic matter and newly produced “biospheric” organic carbon delivered to the ocean by rivers. These results are considered in the context of a new carbon cycle model to derive expectations for the limits and drivers of organic matter burial over geologic timescales.
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