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Extreme storms drive riverine particulate organic matter export from tropical mountians of estern Puerto Rico

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Created: Jun 23, 2017 at 7:37 p.m.
Last updated: Sep 29, 2017 at 8:10 p.m.
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Erosion, transport and deposition of riverine suspended load are pivotal processes in the terrestrial carbon cycle and function of the critical zone. In order to better understand the response of these drivers to changes in land cover and climate, it is critical to characterize these drivers. In montane rivers, such as the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico, extreme storm events erode and transport clastic and organic material from mountain slopes to rivers, dominating annual export. Riverine particulate organic carbon (POC) and particulate nitrogen (PN) exports are not as well understood, especially at high runoff rates. Over 25 years, river POC export was 75±20 tC km-2 yr-1 for Rio Icacos and 22±8 tC km-2 yr-1 for the Mameyes. Caribbean river POC yields were higher in relation to their SS yields, suggesting that these rivers have greater terrestrial OM supply on the landscape to be eroded and transported into rivers, than what is expected based on data for world rivers. Additionally, we determined that 50% of the suspended load flux occurred during extreme rainfall events, spanning just over 2 days a year, but only exporting <10% of the annual runoff and rainfall. These results emphasize the important role of extreme rainfall events as drivers of POM export from the Luquillo Mountains.

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Resource Level Coverage


Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
Luquillo Mountains
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Start Date:
End Date:


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Additional Metadata

Name Value
MAM_Ylds_SCN_particulates 1991 to 2015 yields of runoff, SS, POC, and PN using LOADEst
ICA_Ylds_SCN_problem_data_particulates 1991 to 2015 yields of runoff, SS, POC, and PN using LOADEst
ICA_Storms_particulate, MAM_Storms_particulate - Excel n = 127 with > 80 mm rainfall / event and the flux of rainfall, runoff, SS, POC, and PN
ICA_GAGE_YEARS, MAM_GAGE_YEARS - zip and text files gap filled 1991 to 2014 instantaneous discharge, original data found online
Events_Icacos_data - Excel > 0.16 mm rainfall / event at Rio Icacos rain gauge, published: 10.1002/2013WR014413
PR_SS_POC_PN - Excel n = 2489 SS mg/L samples collected using ISCOs during storm events from 1991 to 2004, n = 1793 SS mg/L samples collected weekly from 1989 to 2015, n = 302 results of C%, N%, POC & PN mg/L, C/N. Includes SS mg/L & discharge, USGS 1992 to 1998, LCZO 2006 to 2015 n = 1624 SS samples burned for LOI mg/L 1994 to 2004


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
NSF CZO: Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory 1331841

How to Cite

Clark, K. E., R. Stallard, M. Scholl, A. F. Plante, S. F. Murphy, G. Gonzalez, W. H. McDowell (2017). Extreme storms drive riverine particulate organic matter export from tropical mountians of estern Puerto Rico, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/bd540b2b97e8428fb3b7c7ae4d2e704a

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.



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