Growth of the Phoenix metropolitan area led to exposures of the internal bedrock structure of surrounding semi-arid mountain ranges as housing platforms or road cuts. Such exposures in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts reveal the presence of sedimentary calcium carbonate infilling the pre-existing fracture matrix of the bedrock. Field surveys of bedrock fractures filled with carbonate (BFFC) reveal an average of 0.079 +/- 0.024 mT C/m2 stored in the upper 2 m of analyzed bedrock exposures. Back-scattered electron microscopy images indicate the presence of carbonate at the micron scale, not included in this estimation. Analysis of the spatial extent of bedrock landforms in arid and semi-arid regions worldwide suggests that ~1485 GtC could potentially be stored in the upper 2 m horizon of BFFCs. Radiocarbon dating obtained at one of the sites indicates it is likely that some of the carbonate was flushed into the bedrock system during glacial wet pulses, and is stored on Pleistocene timescales or longer. Strontium isotope analysis at the same site suggest the potential for a substantial cation contribution from weathering of the local bedrock, indicating the potential exists for sequestration of atmospheric carbon in BFFCs. Rates of carbon release from BFFCs are tied to rates of erosion of bedrock ranges in desert climates.
- Introducing a terrestrial carbon pool in desert bedrock mountains
The date the item was original created (prior to any relationship with the ASU Digital Repositories.)
- arid geomorphology
- carbon cycle
- Carbon Sequestration
- Radiocarbon dating
- strontium isotopes
- Geological carbon sequestration--Arizona--Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
- Geological carbon sequestration
- Shields (Geology)--Arizona--Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
- Shields (Geology)
- Desert ecology--Arizona--Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
- Desert ecology
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Statement of Responsibility
by Emma Harrison