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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-288
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-288
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  31 Jul 2020

31 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Increased carbon capture by a silicate-treated forested watershed affected by acid deposition

Lyla L. Taylor1, Charles T. Driscoll2, Peter M. Groffman3,6, Greg H. Rau4, Joel D. Blum5, and David J. Beerling1 Lyla L. Taylor et al.
  • 1Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 151 Link Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
  • 3City University of New York, Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center, New York, NY 10031, USA
  • 4Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
  • 5Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
  • 6Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbook, NY 12545, USA

Abstract. Meeting internationally agreed-upon climate targets requires Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) strategies coupled with an urgent phase-down of fossil fuel emissions. However, the efficacy and wider impacts of CDR are poorly understood. Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a land-based CDR strategy requiring large-scale field trials. Here we show that a low 3.44 t ha−1 wollastonite treatment in an 11.8-ha acid-rain-impacted forested watershed in New Hampshire, USA led to cumulative carbon capture by carbonic acid weathering of 0.025–0.13 t CO2 ha−1 over 15 years. Despite a 0.8–2.4 t CO2 ha−1 logistical carbon penalty from mining, grinding, transportation and spreading, by 2015 weathering together with increased forest productivity led to net CDR of 8.5–11.5 t CO2 ha−1. Our results demonstrate that ERW may be an effective, scalable CDR strategy for acid-impacted forests but at large-scale requires sustainable sources of silicate rock dust.

Lyla L. Taylor et al.

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Lyla L. Taylor et al.

Data sets

Longitudinal Stream Chemistry at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, Watershed 1, 1991–present Charles T. Driscoll https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/fcfa498c5562ee55f6e84d7588a980d2

Longitudinal Stream Chemistry at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, Watershed 6, 1982–present Charles T. Driscoll https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/0033e820ff0e6a055382d4548dc5c90c

Streamwater Ca, Sr and 87Sr/86Sr measurements on Watershed 1 at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest Joel D. Blum https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/43ebc0f959780cfc30b7ad53cc4a3d3e

Chemistry of Bulk Precipitation at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, Watershed 1, 1963–present Gene Likens https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/df90f97d15c28daeb7620b29e2384bb9

Chemistry of Bulk Precipitation at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, Watershed 6, 1963–present Gene Likens https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/8d2d88dc718b6c5a2183cd88aae26fb1

Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (US Forest Service): Daily Streamflow by Watershed, 1956–present John Campbell https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/727ee240e0b1e10c92fa28641bedb0a3

Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (US Forest Service): Total Daily Precipitation by Watershed, 1956–present USDA Forest Service and Northern Research Station https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/a84c4ecb82573486e4d080d392fe64b1

Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (USDA Forest Service): Daily Mean Temperature Data, 1955–present John Campbell and USDA Forest Service https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/75b416d670de920c5ace92f8f3182964

Forest soil:atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, 1997–present Peter M. Groffman and Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/9d017f1a32cba6788d968dc03632ee03

Forest Inventory of a Calcium Amended Northern Hardwood Forest: Watershed 1, 1996, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest riscoll, C., S. Bailey, J. Blum, D. Buso, C. Eagar, T. Fahey, M. Fisk, P. Groffman, C. Johnson, G. Likens, S. Hamburg, and T. Siccama https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/9ff720ba22aef2b40fc5d9a7b374aa52

Forest Inventory of a Calcium Amended Northern Hardwood Forest: Watershed 1, 2001, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest C. Driscoll, S. Bailey, J. Blum, D. Buso, C. Eagar, T. Fahey, M. Fisk, P. Groffman, C. Johnson, G. Likens, S. Hamburg, and T. Siccama https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/a2300121b6d594bbfcb3256ca1c300c8

Forest Inventory of a Calcium Amended Northern Hardwood Forest: Watershed 1, 2006, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest J. Battles, C. Driscoll, S. Bailey, J. Blum, D. Buso, T. Fahey, M. Fisk, P. Groffman, C. Johnson, and G. Likens https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/37c5a5868158e87db2d30c2d62a57e14

Forest Inventory of a Calcium Amended Northern Hardwood Forest: Watershed 1, 2011, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest J. Battles, C. Driscoll, S. Bailey, J. Blum, D. Buso, T. Fahey, M. Fisk, P. Groffman, C. Johnson, and G. Likens https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/94f9084a3224c1e3e0ed38763f8dae02

Lyla L. Taylor et al.

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Short summary
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) strategy involving soil amendments with silicate rock dust. Over 15 years, a small silicate application led to net CDR of 8.5–11.5 t CO2/ha in an acid-rain-impacted New Hampshire forest. We accounted for the total carbon cost of treatment and compared effects with an adjacent, untreated forest. Our results suggest ERW can improve the greenhouse-gas balance of similar forests in addition to mitigating acid rain effects.
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) strategy involving soil...
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