Near Surface CO2 Triple Oxygen Isotope Composition

  • Author(s): Sasadhar Mahata, Chung-Ho Wang, Sourendra Kumar Bhattacharya, and Mao-Chang Liang
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2015.09.16.01(A)
  • Keywords: Oxygen anomaly, Biogeochemistry, Carbon and water cycling

The isotopic composition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a powerful tool for constraining its sources and sinks. In particular, the 17O oxygen anomaly [Δ17O = 1000 × ln(1 + δ17O/1000) - 0.516 × 1000 × ln(1 + δ18O/1000)], with a value > 0.5‰ produced in the middle atmosphere, provides an ideal tool for probing the exchange of carbon dioxide between the biosphere/hydrosphere and atmosphere. The biosphere/hydrosphere and anthropogenic emissions give values ≤ 0.3‰. Therefore, any anomaly in near surface CO2 would reflect the balance between stratospheric input and exchange with the aforementioned surface sources. We have analyzed Δ17O values of CO2 separated from air samples collected in Taipei, Taiwan, located in the western Pacific region. The obtained mean anomaly is 0.42 ± 0.14‰ (1-σ standard deviation), in good agreement with model prediction and a published decadal record. Apart from typically used δ13C and δ18O values, the Δ17O value could provide an additional tracer for constraining the carbon cycle.

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