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Understanding Methane Emissions from Impounded Rivers - A Process-based Approach to Quantify Methane Emission Rates in Space and Time

  • By the work presented in this thesis, the CH4 emissions of the River Saar were quantified in space and time continuously and all relevant processes leading to the observed pattern were identified. The direct comparison between reservoir zones and free-flowing intermediate reaches revealed, that the reservoir zones are CH4 emission hot spots and emitted over 90% of the total CH4. On average, the reservoir zones emitted over 80 times more CH4 per square meter than the intermediate reaches between dams (0.23 vs. 19.7 mol CH4 m-2 d-1). The high emission rates measured in the reservoir zones fall into the range of emissions observed in tropical reservoirs. The main reason for this is the accumulation of thick organic rich sediments and we showed that the net sedimentation rate is an excellent proxy for estimating ebullitive emissions. Within the hot spot zones, the ebullitive flux enhanced also the diffusive surface emissions as well as the degassing emissions at dams. To resolve the high temporal variability, we developed an autonomous instrument for continuous measurements of the ebullition rate over long periods (> 4 weeks). With this instrument we could quantify the variability and identify the relevant trigger mechanisms. At the Saar, ship-lock induces surges and ship waves were responsible for over 85% of all large ebullition events. This dataset was also used to determine the error associated with short sampling periods and we found that with sampling periods of 24 hours as used in other studies, the ebullition rates were systematically underestimated by ~50%. Measuring the temporal variability enabled us to build up a conceptual framework for estimating the temporal pattern of ebullition in other aquatic systems. With respect to the contribution of freshwater systems to the global CH4 emissions, hot spot emission sites in impounded rivers have the potential to increase the current global estimate by up to 7%.

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Author:Andreas Mäck
Advisor:Andreas Lorke
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2014/04/03
Date of publication:2014/04/03
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Fachbereich 7
Date of final exam:2014/03/19
Release Date:2014/04/03
Tag:Emissionen; Gasblasen; Methan; Staugeregelte Flüsse; Variabilität
Methane emissions; ebullition; impounded rivers; spatial and temporal varibility
Number of pages:63 Seiten
Institutes:Fachbereich 7 / Fachbereich 7
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG