Quantification of ebullitive and diffusive methane release to atmosphere from a water storage

Grinham, Alistair, Dunbabin, Matthew, Gale, Deborah, & Udy, James (2011) Quantification of ebullitive and diffusive methane release to atmosphere from a water storage. Atmospheric Environment, 45(39), 7166 - 7173.

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Accurately quantifying total freshwater storage methane release to atmosphere requires the spatial–temporal measurement of both diffusive and ebullitive emissions. Existing floating chamber techniques provide localised assessment of methane flux, however, significant errors can arise when weighting and extrapolation to the entire storage, particularly when ebullition is significant. An improved technique has been developed that compliments traditional chamber based experiments to quantify the storage-scale release of methane gas to atmosphere through ebullition using the measurements from an Optical Methane Detector (OMD) and a robotic boat. This provides a conservative estimate of the methane emission rate from ebullition along with the bubble volume distribution. It also georeferences the area of ebullition activity across entire storages at short temporal scales. An assessment on Little Nerang Dam in Queensland, Australia, demonstrated whole storage methane release significantly differed spatially and throughout the day. Total methane emission estimates showed a potential 32-fold variation in whole-of-dam rates depending on the measurement and extrapolation method and time of day used. The combined chamber and OMD technique showed that 1.8–7.0% of the surface area of Little Nerang Dam is accounting for up to 97% of total methane release to atmosphere throughout the day. Additionally, over 95% of detectable ebullition occurred in depths less than 12 m during the day and 6 m at night. This difference in spatial and temporal methane release rate distribution highlights the need to monitor significant regions of, if not the entire, water storage in order to provide an accurate estimate of ebullition rates and their contribution to annual methane emissions.

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ID Code: 63609
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Storage
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.09.011
ISSN: 1352-2310
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 23 Oct 2013 00:31
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2013 04:20

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