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Wei-Jun Cai, Co-Principal Investigator / Associate Professor

Wei-Jun Cai

Research Emphasis:

Because precise measurements of the fluxes of all categories of living and non-living organic matter are difficult to achieve, we propose to reevaluate the question of estuarine (coastal ocean)-marsh interactions from the viewpoint of O2 and CO2 exchanges between marsh, estuary, and atmosphere. Our approach uses O2 and CO2 concentrations in estuarine waters as integrated measurements of production, respiration, and gas exchange in the estuary/intertidal marsh complex. By examining overall gas exchanges and evaluating them in the context of a mass-balance model, we also provide a valuable comparison with individual measurements of specific processes in the coastal marshes that span several decades.

GCE Committees:

GCE Flux Tower Committee

Contact Information:

Primary Organization:  University of Delaware

Mailing Address:

Dr. Wei-Jun Cai
014 Lammot DuPont
College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716

Office Phone:  (302) 831-2839

E-Mail:  wcai@udel.edu

Web Page:  http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/our-people/profiles/wcai

Other Identity Systems:

ORCID:  orcid.org/0000-0003-3606-8325

GCE Data Sets:

NUT-GCEM-2105 (Dissolved Inorgainic Carbon concentration and Total Alkalinity from surface water samples collected in the GCE LTER domain near Sapelo Island, Georgia between May 2014 and December 2022.)

CHM-GCET-1605a (Anchor sampling of inorganic carbon (DIC) and dissolved oxygen (DO) at the flux tower tidal creek in the Duplin River)

CHM-GCET-1605 (Survey of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and dissolved oxygen (DO) along the Duplin River in 2014)

NUT-GCEM-0909b (Long-term water quality monitoring on the Altamaha River and major tributaries from September 2000 through April 2009)

CHM-GCEM-0501 (Surface water DIC, total alkalinity, and pH for the September 2002 through December 2004 Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER oceanographic surveys)

(most recent displayed - view all)

GCE Publications and Presentations: (custom bibliography)

Journal Articles

Wang, S., Di Iorio, D., Cai, W.-J. and Hopkinson, C.S. 2018. Inorganic carbon and oxygen dynamics in a marsh-dominated estuary. Limnology and Oceanography. 63(1):47-71. (DOI: 10.1002/lno.10614)

Reimer, J.J., Cai, W.-J., Xue, L., Vargas, R., Noakes, S., Hu, X., Signorini, S.R., Mathis, J.T., Feely, R.A., Sutton, A.J., Sabine, C., Musielewicz, S., Chen, B. and Wanninkhof, R. 2017. Time series pCO2 at a coastal mooring: Internal consistency, seasonal cycles, and interannual variability. Continental Shelf Research. 145:95-108. (DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2017.06.022)

Takagi, K., Hunter, K.S., Cai, W.-J. and Joye, S.B. 2017. Agents of change and temporal nutrient dynamics in the Altamaha River Watershed. Ecosphere. 8(1):33. (DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1519)

Xue, L., Cai, W.-J., Sutton, A.J. and Sabine, C. 2016. Sea surface aragonite saturation state variations and control mechanisms at the Gray's Reef time-series site off Georgia, USA (20062007). Marine Chemistry. 195:27-40. (DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2017.05.009)

Herrmann, M., Najjar, R.G., Kemp, M., Alexander, R.B., Boyer, E.W., Cai, W.-J., Griffith, P.C., Kroeger, K.D., McCallister, S.L. and Smith, R.A. 2015. Net ecosystem production and organic carbon balance of U.S. East Coast estuaries: A synthesis approach. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 29(1):96-111. (DOI: 10.1002/2013GB004736)

Bauer, J., Cai, W.-J., Raymond, P., Bianchi, T.S., Hopkinson, C.S. and Regnier, P.A.G. 2013. The changing carbon cycle of the coastal ocean. Nature. 504:61-70. (DOI: 10.1038/nature12857)

Jiang, L., Cai, W.-J., Wang, Y. and Bauer, J. 2013. Influence of terrestrial inputs on continental shelf carbon dioxide. Biogeosciences. 10:839 - 849. (DOI: 10.5194/bg-10-839-2013)

Hopkinson, C.S., Cai, W.-J. and Hu, X. 2012. Carbon sequestration in wetland dominated coastal systems aglobal sink of rapidly diminishing magnitude. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability. 4:186 - 194. (DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2012.03.005)

Cai, W.-J. 2011. Estuarine and Coastal Ocean Carbon Paradox: CO2 Sinks or Sites of Terrestrial Carbon Incineration? Annual Review of Marine Science. 3:123-145. (DOI: 10.1146/annurev-marine-120709-142723)

Cai, W.-J., Hu, X., Huang, W.-J., Jiang, L., Wang, Y. and Peng, T.-H. 2010. Alkalinity distribution in the western North Atlantic Ocean margins. Journal of Geophysical Research. 115(C08014):15. (DOI: 10.1029/2009JC005482)

Jiang, L., Cai, W.-J., Feely, R.A., Wang, Y., Guo, X., Gledhill, D.K., Hu, X., Arzayus, F., Chen, F., Hartmann, J. and Zhang, L. 2010. Carbonate mineral saturation states along the U.S. east coast. Limnology and Oceanography. 55(6):24242432. (DOI: 10.4319/lo.2010.55.6.2424)

Jiang, L., Cai, W.-J., Wang, Y., Diaz, J., Yager, P. and Hu, X. 2010. Pelagic community respiration on the continental shelf off Georgia, USA. Biogeochemistry. 98:101113. (DOI: 10.1007/s10533-009-9379-8)

Jiang, L., Cai, W.-J. and Wang, Y. 2008. A comparative study of carbon dioxide degassing in river- and marine-dominated estuaries. Limnology and Oceanography. 53(6):2603-2615.

Jiang, L., Cai, W.-J., Wang, Y., Wanninkhof, R. and Luger, H. 2008. Air-sea CO2 fluxes on the US South Atlantic Bight: Spatial and temporal variability. Journal of Geophysical Research-Ocean. 113:C07019. (DOI: 10.1029/2007JC004366)

Cai, W.-J., Dai, M. and Wang, Y. 2006. Air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide in ocean margins: A province-based synthesis. Geophysical Research Letters. 33:L12603. (DOI: 10.1029/2006GL026219)

Wang, Z., Cai, W.-J., Wang, Y. and Ji, H. 2005. The southeastern continental shelf of the United States as an atmospheric CO2 source and an exporter of inorganic carbon to the ocean. Continental Shelf Research 25:1917-1941.

Cai, W.-J. and Dai, M. 2004. Comment on "Enhanced open ocean storage of CO2 from shelf sea pumping". Science. 306:1477c.

Cai, W.-J., Dai, M., Wang, Y., Zhai, W., Chen, T.H.S., Zhang, F., Chen, Z. and Wang, Z. 2004. The biogeochemistry of inorganic carbon and nutrients in the Pearl River estuary and the adjacent Northern South China Sea. Continental Shelf Research. 24:1301-1319.

Wang, Z. and Cai, W.-J. 2004. Carbon dioxide degassing and inorganic carbon export from a marsh dominated estuary (the Duplin River): A marsh CO2 pump. Limnology & Oceanography. 49(2):341-352.

Cai, W.-J. 2003. Riverine inorganic carbon flux and rate of biological uptake in the Mississippi River plume. Geophysical Research Letters. 30(2):1032-1035.

Cai, W.-J., Wang, Y., Krest, J. and Moore, W.S. 2003. The geochemistry of dissolved inorganic carbon in a surficial groundwater aquifer in North Inlet, South Carolina and the carbon fluxes to the coastal ocean. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 67(5):631-637.

Cai, W.-J., Wang, Z. and Wang, Y. 2003. The role of marsh-dominated heterotrophic continental margins in transport of CO2 between the atmosphere, the land-sea interface and the ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. 30(16):1849.

Wang, Z.A., Cai, W.-J., Wang, Y. and Upchurch, B.L. 2003. A long pathlength liquid-core waveguide sensor for real-time pCO2 measurements at sea. Marine Chemistry. 84:7384.

Cai, W.-J., Wiebe, W.J., Wang, Y. and Sheldon, J.E. 2000. Intertidal marsh as a source of dissolved inorganic carbon and a sink of nitrate in the Satilla River-estuarine complex in the southeastern U.S. Limnology & Oceanography. 45:1743-1752.

Books and Book Sections

Pennings, S.C., Alber, M., Alexander, C.R. Jr., Booth, M.G., Burd, A.B., Cai, W.-J., Craft, C.B., DePratter, C., Di Iorio, D., Hollibaugh, J.T., Hopkinson, C.S., Joye, S.B., Meile, C., Moore, W.S., Silliman, B.R., Thompson, V.D. and Wares, J.P. 2012. South Atlantic Tidal Wetlands. Pages 45-61 in: Batzer, D.P. and Baldwin, A. (editors). Wetland Habitats of North America: Ecology and Conservation Concerns. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

Pomeroy, L.R. and Cai, W.-J. 2006. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and estuarine condition. Pages 179-201 in Kleppel, G.S., DeVoe, M.R. and Rawson, M.V. (editors). Changing Land Use Patterns in the Coastal Zone: Managing Environmental Quality in Rapidly Developing Regions. Springer, New York.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.