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Change in carbon flux (1960–2015) of the Red River (Vietnam)

Abstract

Global riverine carbon concentrations and fluxes have been impacted by climate and human-induced changes for many decades. This paper aims to reconstruct the longterm carbon concentrations and carbon fluxes of the Red River, a system under the coupled pressures of environmental change and human activity. Based on (1) the relationships between particulate and dissolved organic carbon (POC, DOC) or dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and suspended sediments (TSS) or river water discharge and on (2) the available detailed historical records of river discharge and TSS concentration, the variations of the Red River carbon concentration and flux were estimated for the period 1960–2015. The results show that total carbon flux of the Red River averaged 2555 ± 639 kton C year−1. DIC fluxes dominated total carbon fluxes, representing 64% of total, reflecting a strong weathering process from carbonate rocks in the upstream basin. Total carbon fluxes significantly decreased from 2816 kton C year−1 during the 1960s to 1372 kton C year−1 during the 2010s and showed clear seasonal and spatial variations. Organic carbon flux decreased in both quantity and proportion of the total carbon flux from 40.9% in 1960s to 14.9% in 2010s, reflecting the important impact of dam impoundment. DIC flux was also reduced over this period potentially as a consequence of carbonate precipitation in the irrigated, agricultural land and the reduction of the Red River water discharge toward the sea. These decreases in TSS and carbon fluxes are probably partially responsible for different negatives impacts observed in the coastal zone.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the financial supports of the Vietnam’s National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED-Vietnam, 105.09-2012.10 project), the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) (ARCP2014-03CMY-Quynh/ARCP2013-06CMY-Quynh/ARCP2012-11NMY-Quynh project) and the International foundation for Science (IFS) W4210/2 project.

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Le, T.P.Q., Le, N.D., Dao, V.N. et al. Change in carbon flux (1960–2015) of the Red River (Vietnam). Environ Earth Sci 77, 658 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-018-7851-2

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  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-018-7851-2

Keywords

  • Carbon fluxes
  • Dam impoundment
  • POC
  • Red river
  • Vietnam