A multi-isotope model for simulating soil organic carbon cycling in eroding landscapes (WATEM_C v1.0)

Wang, Zhengang; Qiu, Jianxiu; Van Oost, Kristof

There is increasing recognition that lateral soil organic carbon (SOC) fluxes due to erosion have imposed an important impact on the global C cycling. Field and experimental studies have been conducted to investigate this topic. It is useful to have a modeling tool that takes into account various soil properties and has flexible resolution and scale options so that it can be widely used to study relevant processes and evaluate the effect of soil erosion on SOC cycling. This study presents a model that is capable of simulating SOC cycling in landscapes that are subjected to erosion. It considers all three C isotopes (inline-formula12C, inline-formula13C and inline-formula14C) with flexible time steps and a detailed vertical solution of the soil profile. The model also represents radionuclide cycling in soils that can assist in constraining the lateral and vertical redistribution of soil particles within landscapes. The model gives a three-dimensional representation of soil properties including inline-formula137Cs activity, SOC stock, and inline-formulaδ13C and inline-formulaΔ14C values. Using the same C cycling processes in stable, eroding and depositional areas, our model is able to reproduce the observed spatial and vertical patterns of C contents, inline-formulaδ13C values, and inline-formulaΔ14C values. This indicates that at the field scale with a similar C decomposition rate, physical soil redistribution is the main cause of the spatial variability of these C metrics.



Wang, Zhengang / Qiu, Jianxiu / Van Oost, Kristof: A multi-isotope model for simulating soil organic carbon cycling in eroding landscapes (WATEM_C v1.0). 2020. Copernicus Publications.


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