Methane Emissions from Small Lakes: Dynamics and Distribution Patterns

Monday, 15 December 2014
Jorge Miguel Encinas Fernández, Frank Peeters and Hilmar Hofmann, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
The dynamics of dissolved methane were measured during three years in five small lakes with different surface areas and maximum water depth. We analyze and compare the horizontal and vertical distribution of dissolved methane within these lakes during different time periods: the stratified period in summer, the autumn overturn, the winter mixing period, and the period from spring to summer stratification. The horizontal distributions of dissolved methane within the lakes suggest that the relation between surface area and maximum water-depth is a key factor determining the heterogeneity of methane concentrations in the surface water. During most of the year littoral zones are the main source of the methane that is emitted to the atmosphere except for the overturn periods. The vertical distributions of temperature and dissolved oxygen within the different seasons affect the vertical distribution of dissolved methane and thus the methane budget within lakes. Anoxic conditions in the hypolimnion and the intense mixing during overturn periods are key factors for the overall annual methane emissions from lakes.