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Estimation of atmospheric CO2 uptake by silicate weathering in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau: a review of existing fluvial geochemical data

By
Youngsook Huh
Youngsook Huh
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-747, Korea (e-mail: yhuh@snu.ac.kr)
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

The fluvial geochemical data of major rivers draining the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau (HTP) are compiled from literature and supplemented with data from the author's group to explore the spatial variability in the major element and strontium isotopic compositions and in rates of silicate weathering and concomitant drawdown of atmospheric CO2. The results indicate that carbonate weathering dominates the major element composition of these rivers, and when the silicate contributions are carefully separated, there is spatial variability within the HTP system. Silicate contributions are highest in the rivers of the Himalayan syntaxes and in the Yamuna, Alaknanda-Bhaghirathi and Kosi tributaries of the Ganges. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios are especially radiogenic in the Ganges tributaries but the values do not necessarily correlate with the relative input from silicate weathering. Even in the Yamuna tributary of the Ganges where rates of CO2 consumption by silicate weathering are several times those of the rivers of the eastern Tibetan Plateau, the rates are comparable to the rivers draining the Andes. Thus, the Ganges tributaries supply uniquely radiogenic 87Sr to the ocean but cannot be considered anomalous in terms of silicate weathering rates in comparison to other major rivers draining orogenic zones.

Supplementary material:

Major element concentration and strontium isotope ratio data for Huh (unpublished) is available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18408.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Monsoon Evolution and Tectonic–Climate Linkage in Asia

P. D. Clift
P. D. Clift
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R. Tada
R. Tada
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H. Zheng
H. Zheng
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Geological Society of London
Volume
342
ISBN electronic:
9781862395909
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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