Simultaneous determination of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration and stable isotope (δ13C-DIC) by Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy: application to study carbonate dynamics in the Chesapeake Bay

Highlights
• A CRDS-based approach was developed to simultaneously determine DIC and δ13C-DIC.

• High accuracy and precision comparable to the traditional methods of NDIR and IRMS.

• Main biogeochemical controls on DIC and δ13C-DIC in Chesapeake Bay in early May.

Abstract
Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and its stable isotope (δ13C-DIC) are powerful tools for exploring aquatic biogeochemistry and the carbon cycle. Traditionally, they are determined separately with a DIC analyzer and an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. We present an approach that uses a whole-water CO2 extraction device coupled to a Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) CO2 and isotopic analyzer to measure DIC and δ13C-DIC simultaneously in a 3–4 mL sample over an ~11 min interval, with an average precision of 1.5 ± 0.6 μmol kg−1 for DIC and 0.09 ± 0.05‰ for δ13C-DIC. The system was tested on samples collected from a Chesapeake Bay cruise in May 2016, achieving a precision of 0.7 ± 0.5 μmol kg−1 for DIC and 0.05 ± 0.02‰ for δ13C-DIC. Using the simultaneously measured DIC and δ13C-DIC data, the biogeochemical controls on DIC and its isotope composition in the bay during spring are discussed. In the northern upper bay, the main controlling processes were CO2 outgassing and carbonate precipitation, whereas primary production (surface) and degradation of organic carbon (subsurface) dominated in the southern upper bay and middle bay. By improving the mode of sample introduction, the system could be automated to measure multiple samples. This would give the system the potential to provide continuous shipboard measurements during field surveys, making this method more powerful for exploring the complicated carbonate system across a wide range of aquatic settings.

Su J., Cai W.-J., Hussain N., Brodeur J., Chen B. & Huang K., in press. Simultaneous determination of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration and stable isotope (δ13C-DIC) by Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy: Application to study carbonate dynamics in the Chesapeake Bay. Marine Chemistry. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Simultaneous determination of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration and stable isotope (δ13C-DIC) by Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy: application to study carbonate dynamics in the Chesapeake Bay”



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