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A model for evaluating continental chemical weathering from riverine transports of dissolved major elements at a global scale

Abstract : This study presents a process-based-empirical model for the assessment of ionic fluxes derived from chemical weathering of rocks (ICWR) at a global scale. The equations are designed and the parameters fitted using riverine transport of dissolved major ions Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, Cl−, SO42−, and alkalinity at a global scale by combining point sampling analysis with spatial descriptions of hydrology, climate, topography, lithology and soil variables such as mineral composition and regolith thickness. Different configurations of the model are considered and the results show that the previously reported “soil shielding” effect on chemical weathering (CW) of rocks presents different values for each of the ions considered. Overall, there is good agreement between median and ranges in observed and simulated data, but further analysis is required to downscale the model to catchment scale. Application to the global scale provides the first global ICWR map, resulting in an average cationic flux derived from chemical weathering of 734·106 Mg·y−1, where 58% is Ca2+, 15% is Mg2+, 24% is Na+ and 3% is K+, and an average anionic flux derived from chemical weathering of 2640·106 Mg·y−1, where 74% is alkalinity, 18% is SO42−, and 8% is Cl−. Hyperactive and hotspot areas are elucidated and compared between ions.
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Juan-Luis Lechuga-Crespo, Jose-Miguel Sanchez-Perez, Sabine Simeoni-Sauvage, Jens Hartmann, Philippe Amiotte-Suchet, et al.. A model for evaluating continental chemical weathering from riverine transports of dissolved major elements at a global scale. Global and Planetary Change, Elsevier, 2020, 192, pp.103226. ⟨10.1016/j.gloplacha.2020.103226⟩. ⟨hal-02896415⟩

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