01 Feb 2022
01 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Estimating the lateral transfer of organic carbon through the European river network using a land surface model

Haicheng Zhang1, Ronny Lauerwald2, Pierre Regnier1, Philippe Ciais3, Kristof Van Oost4, Victoria Naipal5, Bertrand Guenet3, and Wenping Yuan6 Haicheng Zhang et al.
  • 1Department Geoscience, Environment & Society-BGEOSYS, Université libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • 2Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR ECOSYS, 78850, Thiverval-Grignon, France
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, IPSL-LSCE CEA/CNRS/UVSQ, Orme des Merisiers, 91191, Gif sur Yvette, France
  • 4UCLouvain, TECLIM - Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • 5EcoAct/ ATOS, 35 rue de miromesnil, 75008, Paris, France
  • 6School of Atmospheric Science, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510275, China

Abstract. Lateral carbon transport from soils to the ocean through rivers has been acknowledged as a key component of global carbon cycle, but is still neglected in most global land surface models (LSMs). Fluvial transport of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and CO2 has been implemented in the ORCHIDEE LSM, while erosion-induced delivery of sediment and particulate organic carbon (POC) from land to river was implemented in another version of the model. Based on these two developments, we take the final step towards the full representation of biospheric carbon transport through the land-river continuum. The newly developed model, called ORCHIDEE-Clateral, simulates the complete lateral transport of water, sediment, POC, DOC and CO2 from land to sea through the river network, the deposition of sediment and POC in the river channel and floodplains, and the decomposition of POC and DOC in transit. We parameterized and evaluated ORCHIDEE-Clateral using observation data in Europe. The model satisfactorily reproduces the observed riverine discharges of water and sediment, bankfull flows and sediment delivery rate from land to river, as well as the observed concentrations of organic carbon in rivers. Application of ORCHIDEE-Clateral for Europe reveals that the lateral carbon transfer affects land carbon dynamics in multiple ways and omission of this process in LSMs may result in significant biases in the simulated regional land carbon budgets. Overall, this study presents a useful tool for simulating large scale lateral carbon transfer and for predicting the feedbacks between lateral carbon transfer and future climate and land use changes.

Haicheng Zhang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2022-4', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Haicheng Zhang, 21 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2022-4', Thomas Hoffmann, 09 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Haicheng Zhang, 21 Apr 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on esd-2022-4', Fanny Langerwisch, 16 Mar 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Haicheng Zhang, 21 Apr 2022

Haicheng Zhang et al.

Haicheng Zhang et al.


Total article views: 708 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
552 133 23 708 39 9 9
  • HTML: 552
  • PDF: 133
  • XML: 23
  • Total: 708
  • Supplement: 39
  • BibTeX: 9
  • EndNote: 9
Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Feb 2022)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Feb 2022)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 621 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 621 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 29 Jun 2022
Short summary
We present a land surface model which can simulate the complete lateral transfer of sediment and carbon from land to ocean through rivers. Our model well captures the water, sediment and organic carbon discharges in European rivers. Application of our model in Europe indicate that lateral carbon transfer can strongly change regional land carbon budget by affecting organic carbon distribution and soil moisture.