Sediment-water gas exchange in two Swedish lakes measured by Eddy Correlation

Monday, 15 December 2014
Jovana Kokic1, Erik Sahlee1, Andreas Brand2 and Sebastian Sobek1, (1)Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, (2)EAWAG Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Duebendorf, Switzerland
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.