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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-420
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-420
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  09 Sep 2020

09 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Mobile open dynamic chamber measurement of methane macroseeps in lakes

Frederic Thalasso1, Katey Walter Anthony2,3, Olya Irzak4, Ethan Chaleff4, Laughlin Barker4, Peter Anthony2, Philip Hanke2, and Rodrigo Gonzalez-Valencia1 Frederic Thalasso et al.
  • 1Biotechnology and Bioengineering Department, Cinvestav, Avenida IPN 2508, Mexico City, 07360, Mexico
  • 2Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
  • 3International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
  • 4Frost Methane, Oakland, California 94612, USA

Abstract. Methane (CH4) seepage; i.e., steady or episodic flow of gaseous hydrocarbons from subsurface reservoirs, has been identified as a significant source of atmospheric CH4. However, radiocarbon data from polar ice cores recently brought into question the magnitude of fossil CH4 seepage naturally occurring. In northern high latitudes, seepage of subsurface CH4 is impeded by permafrost and glaciers, which are under an increasing risk of thawing and melting in a globally warming world, implying the potential release of large stores of CH4 in the future. Resolution of these important questions requires a better constraint and monitoring of actual emissions from seepage areas. The measurement of these seeps is challenging, particularly in aquatic environments, because they involve large and irregular gas flowrates, unevenly distributed both spatially and temporally. Large macroseeps are particularly difficult to measure due to a lack of lightweight, inexpensive methods that can deployed in remote Arctic environments. Here, we report the use of a mobile chamber for measuring emissions at the surface of ice-free lakes subject to intense CH4 macroseepage. Tested in a remote Alaskan lake, the method was validated for the measurement of fossil CH4 emissions of up to 1.08 × 104 g CH4 m-2 d-1 (13.0 L m-2 min-1 of 83.4 % CH4 bubbles), which is within the range of global fossil methane seepage and several orders of magnitude above standard ecological emissions from lakes. In addition, this method allows for low diffusive flux measurements. Thus, the mobile chamber approach presented here covers the entire magnitude range of CH4 emissions currently identified, from those standardly observed in lakes to intense macroseeps, with a single apparatus of moderate cost.

Frederic Thalasso et al.

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Status: open (until 04 Nov 2020)
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Frederic Thalasso et al.

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MOD chamber HESS data Frederic Thalasso https://doi.org/10.17632/kpbc6mhwjt.1

Video supplement

Esieh lake seepage HESS Frederic Thalasso https://doi.org/10.17632/fnr3mkxmk9.1

Frederic Thalasso et al.

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Short summary
Methane (CH4) seepage is the steady or episodic flow of gaseous hydrocarbons from subsurface reservoirs that has been identified as a significant source of atmospheric CH4. The monitoring of these emissions is important and despite several available methods, large macroseeps are still difficult to measure due to a lack of a lightweight and inexpensive method deployable in remote environments. Here, we report the development of a mobile chamber for measuring intense CH4 macroseepage in lakes.
Methane (CH4) seepage is the steady or episodic flow of gaseous hydrocarbons from subsurface...
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