Magnitude and significance of carbon burial in lakes, reservoirs, and peatlands

Walter E. Dean, Eville Gorham

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Globally, lakes are currently accumulating organic carbon (OC) at an estimated annual rate of about 42 Tg/yr. Most of the OC in all but the most oligotrophic of these lakes is autochthonous, produced by primary production in the lakes. The sediments of reservoirs accumulate an additional 160 Tg annually, and peatlands contribute 96 Tg annually. These three carbon pools collectively cover less than 2% of the Earth's surface and constitute a carbon sink of about 300 Tg/yr. Although the oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface, they accumulate OC at a rate of only about 100 Tg/yr.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)535-538
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Chemistry of lake waters/sediments and wetland waters/peats in relation to controlling environmental factors

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