Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 12, issue 1
Biogeosciences, 12, 67–78, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-67-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 12, 67–78, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-67-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Technical note 06 Jan 2015

Technical note | 06 Jan 2015

Technical Note: Large overestimation of pCO2 calculated from pH and alkalinity in acidic, organic-rich freshwaters

G. Abril et al.

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AR by Anna Wenzel on behalf of the Authors (19 Nov 2014)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to technical corrections (24 Nov 2014) by Jack Middelburg
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Short summary
We compared pCO2 data calculated from pH and alkalinity from those measured directly in a large array of temperate and tropical freshwaters. This revealed a large overestimation (up to 300%) of calculated pCO2 in the case of acidic and organic-rich waters, due to a contribution of organic acids anions to alkalinity and a lower buffering capacity of the carbonate system at acidic pH. Given the widespread distribution of acidic freshwaters, direct measurements of water pCO2 are encouraged.
We compared pCO2 data calculated from pH and alkalinity from those measured directly in a large...
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