19 Apr 2022
19 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Effects of precipitation seasonality, vegetation cycle, and irrigation on enhanced weathering

Giuseppe Cipolla1, Salvatore Calabrese2, Amilcare Porporato3, and Leonardo Noto1 Giuseppe Cipolla et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  • 2Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

Abstract. Enhanced Weathering (EW) is a promising strategy for carbon sequestration, but several open questions remain regarding the actual rates of dissolution in conditions of natural hydroclimatic variability in comparison to laboratory experiments. In this context, models play a pivotal role, as they allow exploring and predicting EW dynamics under different environmental conditions. Here a comprehensive hydro-biogeochemical model has been applied to four cropland case studies (i.e., Sicily and the Padan plain in Italy and California and Iowa in the USA) characterized by different rainfall seasonality, vegetation (i.e., wheat for Sicily and California and corn for Padan plain and Iowa), and soil type to explore their influence on dissolution rates. The results reveal that rainfall seasonality, and irrigation when applied, are crucial in determining EW and carbon sequestration dynamics, given their effect on hydrological fluxes, soil pH, and weathering rate. The carbon sequestration rate was found to be strongly affected also by the pre-EW soil pH, which is one of the main factors controlling soil pH before the olivine amendment. In the analyzed case studies, Iowa and Sicily sequester the greatest amount of CO2 (4.20 and 0.62 kg ha-1 y-1, respectively), as compared to California and the Padan plain (2.21 and 0.39 kg ha-1 y-1, respectively). These low carbon sequestration values suggest that an in-depth analysis at the global scale is required to assess EW efficacy for carbon sequestration.

Giuseppe Cipolla et al.

Status: open (until 31 May 2022)

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Giuseppe Cipolla et al.

Giuseppe Cipolla et al.


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Short summary
Enhanced Weathering (EW) is a promising strategy for carbon sequestration. Since models may help to characterize field EW, the present work applies a hydro-biogeochemical model to four case studies characterized by different rainfall seasonality, vegetation, and soil type. Rainfall seasonality strongly affects EW dynamics, but low carbon sequestration suggests that an in-depth analysis at the global scale is required to see if EW may be effective to mitigate climate change.