A 30-year dataset of CO2 in flowing freshwaters in the United States

Timothy R. Toavs, Caleb T. Hasler, Cory D. Suski, Stephen R. Midway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have been linked to effects in a wide range of ecosystems and organisms, with negative effects of elevated CO2 documented for marine organisms. Less is known about the dynamics of CO2 in freshwaters, but the potential exists for freshwater organisms to be challenged by elevated CO2. In flowing freshwaters CO2 exhibits more variability than in lakes or the ocean, yet spatiotemporally extensive direct measures of CO2 in freshwater are rare. However, CO2 can be estimated from pH, temperature, and alkalinity—commonly collected water quality metrics. We used data from the National Water Quality Monitoring Council along with the program PHREEQC to estimate CO2 in flowing freshwaters across 35,000 sites spanning the lower 48 US states from 1990 through 2020. Site data for water chemistry measurements were spatially joined with the National Hydrology Dataset. Our resulting dataset, CDFLOW, presents an opportunity for researchers to add CO2 to their datasets for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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