1Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany
2School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9XP, UK
3KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Celestijnenlaan 200e, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200e, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
5Department of Physical Geography, University of Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, the Netherlands
6School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GP, UK
7Institute of Environmental Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Station 2, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
8University of Pennsylvania, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, 240 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6313, USA
9College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK
Received: 09 Jun 2013 – Discussion started: 24 Jun 2013
Abstract. Is anthropogenic soil erosion a sink or source of atmospheric carbon? The answer depends on factors beyond hillslope erosion alone because the probable fate of mobilized soil carbon evolves as it traverses the fluvial system. The transit path, residence times, and the resulting mechanisms of C-loss or gain change significantly down-basin and are currently difficult to predict as soils erode and floodplains evolve – this should be a key focus of future research.
Revised: 31 Oct 2013 – Accepted: 06 Nov 2013 – Published: 26 Nov 2013
Hoffmann, T., Mudd, S. M., van Oost, K., Verstraeten, G., Erkens, G., Lang, A., Middelkoop, H., Boyle, J., Kaplan, J. O., Willenbring, J., and Aalto, R.: Short Communication: Humans and the missing C-sink: erosion and burial of soil carbon through time, Earth Surf. Dynam., 1, 45-52, doi:10.5194/esurf-1-45-2013, 2013.