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Define the geological carbon cycle

Natural cycle that moves carbon between land, oceans and atmosphere, here there tends to be a natural balance between carbon production and absorption within the cycle.


What are the 6 important natural stores and fluxes of the natural carbon cycle ?

- terrestrial carbon held within the mantle - released until the atmosphere as CO2 when volcanoes erupt ‘outgassing’
- CO2 within the atmosphere combines with rainfall to produce weak carbon acid (acid rain) dissolves carbon rich rocks , releasing bicarbonates (chemical weathering)
- rivers transport weathered carbon and calcium sediments to the oceans, where they are deposited
- carbon in organic matter from plants and from animal shells and skeletons sinks to the ocean bed when they die (build up strata of coal, chalk and limestone)
- carbon-rich rocks are subducted along plate boundaries
- presence of intense heating along subduction plate boundaries metamorphoses sedimentary rocks by baking ( creating metamorphic rocks) - CO2 is released by metamorphism of rocks rich in carbonates during this process


Where is geological carbon from ?

Formation of sedimentary carbonate rocks like limestone and chalk


Where is biologically derived carbon ?

Stored in shale , coal and other sedimentary rocks


What is the bio-geochemical cycle ?

The carbon cycle where biological and chemical processes determine just how much of the carbon available on the earth’s surface is stored or released at any time


where is most carbon stored in the geological C cycle?

most carbon is locked in the terrestrial stores of the long term geological cycle


what are 4 spheres of earth involved in the Carbon cycle?

- atmosphere
- biosphere
- lithosphere
- hydrosphere/ oceanosphere


give one example of flux of carbon occurring?

2010 eyjafjallajokull volcano in iceland erupted - emmitting between 150,000 to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmos.


what is the difference between the slow and fast carbon cycle ?

slow - takes millions of years ad involves the lithosphere store and the flow into the atmosphere store
- built up C - laying down of sedimentary rocks and ocean sediments
- mostly released by volcanic activity, weathering of sed. rocks and transportation by rivers
Fast carbon cycle - the movement of carbon through food chains and takes place within a lifetime


Gt of C in the lithosphere or geosphere ?

- estimated 99.9% of C stored- 60- 100 Man Gt


Gt of C in hydrosphere/oceanosphere ?

40,000 Gt


Gt of C in soil ?

up to 2,000 Gt


Gt of C in Biosphere ?

up to 700 Gt


Biological carbon pump?

the process taht transfers carbon via exchanges of CO2 between living organisms (within the biosphere and outside of it)