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The Fluxes and Sources of Carbon Dioxide in the Estuarine Waters of Georgia

PIs: Wei-Jun Cai and Yongchen Wang (Dept of Marine Sciences, Univ of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA)

Support: Georgia Sea Grant College Program (R/WQ-3)

Timeframe: 3/1/97 - 2/28/98 (complete)

Project Overview:
Identifying the sources and quantifying fluxes of carbon dioxide and O2 are important goals in the study of CO2 dynamics and biogeochemistry in coastal waters.  The specific aims of this project were --

  • to examine the hypothesis that the main sources of C in these estuaries are within the marshes and are benthic-related
  • to understand how the flux of C and O are coupled in the low salinity marsh-estuary complex

Respiration in intertidal marshes was identified as the critical factor in controlling C and Oxygen mass balance in estuaries. When there is a large marsh-to-river area, O2 will be low and pCO2 will be high (such as in the Satilla and St. Marys Rivers). When there is a small marsh-to-river area, O2 will be high and pCO2 will be relatively low (such as in the Altamaha and Savannah Rivers).

Cai, W.-J. and Wang, Y. 1998. The Chemistry, Fluxes and Sources of Carbon Dioxide in the Estuarine Waters of the Satilla and Altamaha Rivers, Georgia. Limnol & Oceanogr. (in press, June 98 issue).

Planned Publications:
Cai W.-J., L. R. Pomeroy, M. A. Moran and Y. Wang 1998. Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Mass Balance of the Estuarine/Intertidal Marsh Complex of Five Rivers in the Southeastern U.S. submitted to Limnol & Oceanogr.

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This page was updated October 13, 2006