Sediment-water gas exchange in two Swedish lakes measured by Eddy Correlation
Abstract:Lake sediments are hotspots for carbon (C) cycling, acting both as sinks and sources through C burial and production of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. The fate of this CO2 in the water column is controlled by bottom water turbulence, a factor not accounted for in current estimates of sediment CO2 fluxes.
This study is aimed to quantify the turbulent CO2 flux across the sediment-water interface (SWI) by measuring the oxygen (O2) flux with the non-invasive Eddy Correlation (EC) method that combines measurements of 3D velocity (ADV) and O2 fluctuations with a microsensor. Using the metabolic relation (respiratory quotient, RQ) of O2 and CO2 derived from a sediment incubation experiment we present the first estimates of turbulent lake sediment CO2 flux from two boreal lakes in Sweden (Erssjön and Erken, 0.07 km2 and 23.7 km2 respectively).
Only ~10 % of the total dataset was extracted for flux calculations due to poor signal-to-noise ratio in the velocity and O2 signals. The sediment in Lake Erssjön was both consuming and producing O2, related to bacterial respiration and photosynthesis. Mean O2 flux was -0.19 and 0.17 μmol O2 m-2 sec-1, comparing to 0.04 μmol O2 m-2 sec-1 derived from the sediment incubation experiment. Fluxes for Lake Erken are still to be determined. Experimentally derived RQ of the both lake sediments were close to unity implying that in-situ CO2 fluxes are of similar magnitude as O2 fluxes, varying between -0.15 and 0.18 μmol C m-2 sec-1.
The first measurement of turbulent sediment O2 flux and estimate of turbulent CO2 flux from a small boreal lake show higher and more variable fluxes than previously found in experimental studies. The low amount of data extracted for flux calculations (~10%) point towards the difficulties in EC measurement in low-turbulence environments. On-going work focuses on the turbulence structure in lakes and its influence on the gas fluxes at the SWI.