Geological Perspectives on Carbon Dioxide and the Carbon Cycle

  1. E.T. Sundquist and
  2. W.S. Broecker
  1. Eric T. Sundquist

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM032p0005

The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present

The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present

How to Cite

Sundquist, E. T. (1985) Geological Perspectives on Carbon Dioxide and the Carbon Cycle, in The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present (eds E.T. Sundquist and W.S. Broecker), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM032p0005

Author Information

  1. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia 22092

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1985

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900605

Online ISBN: 9781118664322

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Keywords:

  • Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry)—Congresses;
  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide—Congresses;
  • Geological time—Congresses;
  • Paleothermometry—Congresses;
  • Geology, Stratigraphic—Congresses

Summary

A review of global carbon fluxes and reservoirs emphasizes the wide range of time scales that characterize their interactions. These interactions can be organized in a series of box models developed sequentially from short to long time scales. Model structures are developed by adding and lumping boxes, procedures which can be formalized in terms of transformations of the matrix of geochemical exchange coefficients. Time responses of the models are characterized by eigenanalysis, which shows particularly clear patterns when the matrix is arranged to approximate block diagonal form. Over time scales of a few centuries, atmospheric CO2 can be modeled as part of a larger reservoir that includes land plants and part of the oceans. Over time scales of thousands of years, carbon cycle interactions are dominated by “reactive” marine and terrestrial sediments. Over time scales of tens to hundreds of millions of years, the earth surface carbon cycle can be viewed as at “secular equilibrium” controlled by the global cycle of weathering and sedimentation.