23 Jun 2023
 | 23 Jun 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SP.

Natural Analogs to Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement

Adam Vinay Subhas, Nadine Lehmann, and Rosalind Rickaby

Abstract. Ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) research can be supplemented by studying the natural alkalinity cycle. In this chapter, we introduce the concept of natural analogs to ocean alkalinity enhancement. We describe earth system processes relevant to OAE deployment and its measurement, reporting, and verification. We then describe some suitable natural analog locations that could serve as study sites to understand how these processes may interact with OAE. Approaches to examining the geological record are also considered. Practical considerations for establishing a natural analog study are discussed, including geochemical mass balance; choosing a site; establishing a control; choosing a measurement suite and platform; and coordinating with ocean models. We identify rivers and their plumes, glacial fjords, whiting events, and basinal seas with elevated alkalinity, as promising candidates for initial natural analog studies. This chapter is not meant to be prescriptive, but instead is written to inspire researchers to creatively explore the power of natural analogs to advance our understanding of OAE.

Adam Vinay Subhas et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on sp-2023-5', Jack Middelburg, 26 Jun 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Adam Subhas, 31 Aug 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on sp-2023-5', Anonymous Referee #2, 13 Jul 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Adam Subhas, 31 Aug 2023

Adam Vinay Subhas et al.

Adam Vinay Subhas et al.


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Short summary
In addition to emissions reductions, methods of actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere must be considered. One of these methods, called ocean alkalinity enhancement, is currently being studied to evaluate its effectiveness and safety. This article details best practices for the study of natural systems to support the development of ocean alkalinity enhancement as a carbon dioxide removal strategy. Relevant earth system processes are discussed, along with methods to study them.