Articles | Volume 19, issue 17
Research article
01 Sep 2022
Research article |  | 01 Sep 2022

From soil to sea: sources and transport of organic carbon traced by tetraether lipids in the monsoonal Godavari River, India

Frédérique M. S. A. Kirkels, Huub M. Zwart, Muhammed O. Usman, Suning Hou, Camilo Ponton, Liviu Giosan, Timothy I. Eglinton, and Francien Peterse


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Short summary
Soil organic carbon (SOC) that is transferred to the ocean by rivers forms a long-term sink of atmospheric CO2 upon burial on the ocean floor. We here test if certain bacterial membrane lipids can be used to trace SOC through the monsoon-fed Godavari River basin in India. We find that these lipids trace the mobilisation and transport of SOC in the wet season but that these lipids are not transferred far into the sea. This suggests that the burial of SOC on the sea floor is limited here.
Final-revised paper