Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Valier Galy

»C residence time in the Ganges-Brahmaputra system - Nature Geoscience 2011
»Chemical composition of Ganges-Brahmaputra River sediments - JGR 2011
»Plant biomarkers in Ganges-Brahmaputra sediments - EPSL 2011
»Petrogenic carbon in the Amazon basin - Geology 2010
»Stable erosion regime in Himalaya - EPSL 2010
»Geological stabilization of C in the crust - Science 2008
»Paleovegetation LGM to present - QSR 2008
»Loading and fate of particulate organic carbon - GCA 2008
»Efficient organic carbon burial in the Bengal fan - Nature 2007
»Determination of TOC and 13C/12C - GGR 2007
»PhD Thesis

Valier Galy, Olivier Beyssac, Christian France-Lanord & Timothy Eglinton , Recycling of graphite during Himalayan erosion: a geological stabilization of carbon in the crust , Science, 2008

At geological time scales, the role of continental erosion in the organic carbon (OC) cycle is determined by the balance between recent OC burial and petrogenic OC oxidation. Evaluating its net effect on the concentration of carbon dioxide and dioxygen in the atmosphere requires the fate of petrogenic OC to be assessed. Here, we report a multiscale (nanometer to micrometer) structural characterization of petrogenic OC in the Himalayan system. We show that graphitic carbon is preserved and buried in marine sediments, while the less graphitized forms are oxidized during fluvial transport. Radiocarbon dating indicates that 30 to 50% of the carbon initially present in the Himalayan rocks is conserved during the erosion cycle. Graphitization during metamorphism thus stabilizes carbon in the crust over geological time scales.

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