A Modern Automatic Chamber Technique as a Powerful Tool for CH4 and CO2 Flux Monitoring

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Mikhail Mastepanov1,2, Torben R Christensen1,2, Magnus Lund2 and Norbert Pirk1,3, (1)Lund University, Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund, Sweden, (2)Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, (3)University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen, Norway
A number of similar systems were used for monitoring of CH4 and CO2 exchange by the automatic chamber method in a range of different ecosystems. The measurements were carried out in northern Sweden (mountain birch forest near Abisko, 68°N, 2004-2010), southern Sweden (forest bog near Hässleholm, 56°N, 2007-2014), northeastern Greenland (arctic fen in Zackenberg valley, 74°N, 2005-2014), southwestern Greenland (fen near Nuuk, 64°N, 2007-2014), central Svalbard (arctic fen near Longyearbyen, 78°N, 2011-2014). Those in total 37 seasons of measurements delivered not only a large amount of valuable flux data, including a few novel findings (Mastepanov et al., Nature, 2008; Mastepanov et al., Biogeosciences, 2013), but also valuable experience with implementation of the automatic chamber technique using modern analytical instruments and computer technologies.

A range of high resolution CH4 analysers (DLT-100, FMA, FGGA – Los Gatos Research), CO2 analyzers (EGM-4, SBA-4 – PP Systems; Li-820 – Li-Cor Biosciences), as well as Methane Carbon Isotope Analyzer (Los Gatos Research) has shown to be suitable for precise measurements of fluxes, from as low as 0.1 mg CH4 m-1 d-1 (wintertime measurements at Zackenberg, unpublished) to as high as 2.4 g CH4 m-1 d-1 (autumn burst 2007 at Zackenberg, Mastepanov et al., Nature, 2008). Some of these instruments had to be customized to accommodate 24/7 operation in harsh arctic conditions. In this presentation we will explain some of these customizations.

High frequency of concentration measurements (1 Hz in most cases) provides a unique opportunity for quality control of flux calculations; on the other hand, this enormous amount of data can be analyzed only using highly automated algorithms. A specialized software package was developed and improved through the years of measurements and data processing. This software automates the data flow from raw concentration data of different instruments and sensors and various status records, through a single database with all recorded parameters, to a visualized flux calculation module, which suggests the optimized flux calculation while allowing for manual correction of all parameters. In this presentation we will communicate the most recent versions of this software package and demonstrate it with different kinds of sample data.