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Consumption of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide through Weathering of Ultramafic Rocks in the Voltri Massif (Italy): Quantification of the Process and Global Implications

1
Dipartimento di Fisica e Geologia, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Via Pascoli s.n.c., 06123 Perugia, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Via La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra dell’Ambiente e della Vita, Università degli Studi di Genova, Corso Europa 26, 16132 Genova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060258
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Geochemistry)
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Abstract

Chemical weathering is the main natural mechanism limiting the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on geologic time scales (>1 Ma) but its role on shorter time scales is still debated, highlighting the need for an increase of knowledge about the relationships between chemical weathering and atmospheric CO2 consumption. A reliable approach to study the weathering reactions is the quantification of the mass fluxes in and out of mono lithology watershed systems. In this work the chemical weathering and atmospheric carbon dioxide consumption of ultramafic rocks have been studied through a detailed geochemical mass balance of three watershed systems located in the metaophiolitic complex of the Voltri Massif (Italy). Results show that the rates of carbon dioxide consumption of the study area (weighted average = 3.02 ± 1.67 × 105 mol km−2 y−1) are higher than the world average CO2 consumption rate and are well correlated with runoff, probably the stronger weathering controlling factor. Computed values are very close to the global average of basic and ultrabasic magmatic rocks, suggesting that Voltri Massif is a good proxy for the study of the feedbacks between chemical weathering, CO2 consumption, and climate change at a global scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical weathering; ophiolites; carbon dioxide; geologic carbon cycle chemical weathering; ophiolites; carbon dioxide; geologic carbon cycle
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Frondini, F.; Vaselli, O.; Vetuschi Zuccolini, M. Consumption of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide through Weathering of Ultramafic Rocks in the Voltri Massif (Italy): Quantification of the Process and Global Implications. Geosciences 2019, 9, 258.

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