Author :  
KyungsooYoo and Ronald Amundson

Year : 

Title : 
Erosion of upland hillslope soil organic carbon: Coupling field measurements with a sediment transport model

Journal : 
Global Biogeochemical Cycles


They combined a hillslope sediment transport model with empirical soil C measurements to quantify the erosion and temporal storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) within two grasslands in central California. The eroded soil accumulates on depositional slopes. The long term SOC accumulation (or C sink) rates are 1.9 g C m-2 yr-1 in the Tennessee Vally hollow and 1.7–2.8 g C m-2 yr-1 in the Black Diamond footslope.

They found that the hillslope C sink is driven primarily by the burial of in situ plant production rather than preservation of eroded SOC, a finding that differs from existing hypotheses.

This study suggests that erosion and deposition are coupled processes that create a previously unrecognized C sink in undisturbed upland watersheds, with a potential to substantially affect the global C balance presently, and over geological timescales.


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