Natural and anthropogenic factors controlling the dissolved organic carbon concentrations and fluxes in a large tropical river, India

K. Balakrishna, Itta Arun Kumar, G. Srinikethan, Gopal Mugeraya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Carbon studies in tropical rivers have gained significance since it was realized that a significant chunk of anthropogenic CO2 emitted into the atmosphere returns to the biosphere, that is eventually transported by the river and locked up in coastal sediments for a few thousand years. Carbon studies are also significant because dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is known to complex the toxic trace metals in the river and carry them in the dissolved form. For the first time, this work has made an attempt to study the variations in DOC concentrations in space and time for a period of 19 months, and estimate their fluxes in the largest peninsular Indian river, the Godavari at Rajahmundry. Anthropogenic influence on DOC concentrations possibly from the number of bathing ghats along the banks and domestic sewage discharge into the river are evident during the pre-monsoon of 2004 and 2005. The rise in DOC concentrations at the onset of monsoon could be due to the contributions from flood plains and soils from the river catchment. Spatial variations highlighted that the DOC concentrations in the river are affected more by the anthropogenic discharges in the downstream than in the upstream. The discharge weighted DOC concentrations in the Godavari river is 3-12 times lower than Ganga-Brahmaputra, Indus and major Chinese rivers. The total carbon fluxes from the Godavari into the Bay of Bengal is insignificant (0.5%) compared to the total carbon discharges by major rivers of the world into oceans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume122
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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