We study the carbon dynamics in the pelagic zone of lakes and reservoirs.
We focus on reservoirs including their predams. They typically have short residence times which allows us to study the behavior of terrestrial carbon activated in individual hydrologic events.
Radiocarbon analyses are a powerful tool in geochemical studies. We employ natural 14C abundance measurements to derive information about the terrestrial sources of organic carbon that is channeled into aquatic food webs and converted to CO2.
We have started to build up an Inorganic Carbon Extraction Line to obtain purified carbon dioxide from natural samples. The purified carbon dioxide is required for 14C analysis by accelerated mass spectrometry (AMS). We expect that the line is available in late autumn 2013.
In the collaborative program TALKO (2012 to 2015), supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) we cooperate with hydrologists, river ecologists, experts for chemical organic carbon analysis as well as engineers. The aim is to derive management options for reservoirs to decrease the load of dissolved organic carbon and to reduce the costs for drinking water production.