River Corridors and the Carbon Cycle

January 23

4:00pm - 5:00pm

Audience: Alumni,  Current Student,  Faculty,  Families,  Prospective Student,  Staff

River Corridors and the Carbon Cycle:
Floodplain Organic Carbon Storage in the Central Yukon River Basin

Kathering B. Lininger, PhD
University of Colorado Boulder

Rivers influence the global carbon cycle by delivering carbon to the oceans, providing sites for carbon processing and storing carbon in floodplains for decades to millennia. However, the amount and residence time of organic carbon (OC) stored in river corridors (channels and floodplains) and the geomorphic influences on the spatial distribution of OC are not well understood.

High latitude regions are experiencing rapid warming and permafrost thaw, and these regions contain large amounts of OC in the subsurface. Very little work has quantified OC storage in floodplains in the high latitudes. 

This talk will present data on floodplain OC concentrations and stocks in sediment in the Yukon Flats in interior Alaska. The large spatial extent of floodplain soil OC samples collected across multiple rivers in the Yukon Flats allows for investigating the geomorphic controls on the spatial distribution of OC across spatial scales.