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Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Apr 1;44(7):2419-25. doi: 10.1021/es9031369.

Extreme methane emissions from a Swiss hydropower reservoir: contribution from bubbling sediments.

Author information

1
Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Seestrasse 79, Kastanienbaum, Switzerland. tonya.delsontro@eawag.ch

Abstract

Methane emission pathways and their importance were quantified during a yearlong survey of a temperate hydropower reservoir. Measurements using gas traps indicated very high ebullition rates, but due to the stochastic nature of ebullition a mass balance approach was crucial to deduce system-wide methane sources and losses. Methane diffusion from the sediment was generally low and seasonally stable and did not account for the high concentration of dissolved methane measured in the reservoir discharge. A strong positive correlation between water temperature and the observed dissolved methane concentration enabled us to quantify the dissolved methane addition from bubble dissolution using a system-wide mass balance. Finally, knowing the contribution due to bubble dissolution, we used a bubble model to estimate bubble emission directly to the atmosphere. Our results indicated that the total methane emission from Lake Wohlen was on average >150 mg CH(4) m(-2) d(-1), which is the highest ever documented for a midlatitude reservoir. The substantial temperature-dependent methane emissions discovered in this 90-year-old reservoir indicate that temperate water bodies can be an important but overlooked methane source.

PMID:
20218543
DOI:
10.1021/es9031369
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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