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Modern Himalayan erosion: a geochemical approach of river transport

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The Himalayan erosion generates one of the world largest sediment transport system. Assessing modern fluxes is difficult in such large river system as there is a large seasonal variability and because floodplain sequestration and bedload transport are potentially important but not measurable. Geochemical budget can be used to approach these fluxes, however such budget relies on the representativeness of the measured compositions. New data on river sediments of the Brahmaputra and Ganga coupled with acoustic Doppler current profiling or rivers allow a much more reliable assessment of the suspended and bed sediment compositions. These data are used to discuss global Himalayan erosion, chemical weathering, impact on the carbon cycle, as well as the effect of anthropogenic activities.

Some references:

France-Lanord, C. and Derry, L. A., 1997. Organic carbon burial forcing of the carbon cycle from Himalayan erosion. Nature 390, 65-67.

Galy, A. and France-Lanord, C., 2001. Higher Erosion rates in the Himalaya: geochemical constraints on riverine fluxes. Geology 29, 23-26.

Singh, S. and France-Lanord, C., 2002. Tracing the distribution of erosion in the Brahmaputra watershed from isotopic compositions of stream sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 252, 645-662.

France-Lanord, C., Evans, M. J., Hurtrez, J. E., and Riotte, J., 2003. Annual dissolved fluxes from Central Nepal rivers: budget of chemical erosion in Himalaya. CFL ’s HD:Users:cfl:Documents:JOB stuff:Pubs:CFLet al 03.pdf 335, 1131-1140.

Galy, V., France-Lanord, C., Beyssac, O., Faure, P., Kudrass, H., and Palhol, F., 2007. Efficient organic carbon burial in the Bengal fan sustained by the Himalayan erosional system. Nature 450, 407-410.

Galy, V., France-Lanord, C., and Lartiges, B., 2008. Loading and fate of particulate organic carbon from the Himalaya to the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72, 1767-1787.

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