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Understanding our environment
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  • Soil Erosion as an Influence on Atmospheric CO2

Soil Erosion as an Influence on Atmospheric CO2

Date: 
2009
Primary Contact: 
Research Location: 
Statewide

Summary

Recent studies indicate that soil erosion may serve as a net sink for carbon, though this is an unresolved controversy in the literature. We have developed a user-friendly, spreadsheet-based model that permits investigators to examine an eroding soil profile of interest and determine the extent to which its erosion results in a net atmospheric carbon source or sink. Rather than asserting that erosion serves as either a net carbon source or sink, the model serves as a tool to assess which parameters are critical determinants of the net carbon flux into or out of an eroding profile. The model is the result of a workshop in March 2007, hosted by Dr. Robert Buddemeier at the Kansas Geological Survey, and was developed in close collaboration with him.