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Soil water solution DOC dynamics during winter in boreal hillslopes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

When plants and animals die they are decomposed into microscopic particles of organic carbon. In the ground, these carbon particles are dissolved in the soil water and eventually transported to the streamchannel with the flow of the groundwater. Today the quantities of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) have been observed to increase in many lakes and streams around the world, which constitute a threat against the water quality and ecologic environment of these surface waters. The amount of organic carbon that is dissolved and transported in the soil water is mainly controlled by processes related to temperature and hydrology, two factors which vary seasonally. Because of difficulties to sample soil water at temperatures below 0°C studies of DOC transport between soil and water during the winter season are limited. This study therefore conducted a winter sampling of soil water, with the focus on DOC. Samples were collected in March 2014 at sites along three hillslopes, orthogonal to two streams, in a typical Swedish boreal forest northwest of Umeå. The soil water was extracted with the help of suction lysimeters installed at different depths in the soil, and heating equipmentpowered by batteries. The collected samples were analyzed for DOC concentration and absorbance after which the results were grouped together with results from previous sampling campaigns, conducted in the summer and autumn of 2013. Parallel to this, data representing a longer time series (2009 to 2012) at another hillslope was processed. During the summer and autumn an increase in DOC concentration was observed. The increase was assumed to be caused by high production and effective degradation of organic matter in the soil during this warm period. Generally, a decrease in the DOC concentration then followed during the winter season. One possible reason for this decrease could be that the bacterial degradation in the soil continued, during the winter, and transformed the dissolved carbon into CO2 and CH4. Another possibility is that the DOC was flushed into the streams by autumn rain events. The study also found differences concerning the DOC concentration and character in the soil water, as well as the seasonal variation of these parameters, with soil depth and distance from the stream along the hillslope profile. These differences could be correlated to the organic content of the soil, from which the soil water had been extracted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 31 p.
, Självständigt arbete, 104
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229128OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-229128DiVA: diva2:735771
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Earth Science
2014-06-03, Hambergsalen, Institutionen för geovetenskaper, Uppsala universitet, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 13:20 (English)
Available from: 2014-08-06 Created: 2014-07-31 Last updated: 2014-08-06Bibliographically approved

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Department of Earth Sciences
Earth and Related Environmental SciencesOceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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