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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 11 No. 1, p. 34-37
    Received: Mar 19, 1981

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A System for Measuring Methane Fluxes from Inland and Coastal Wetland Environments1

  1. D. I. Sebacher and
  2. R. C. Harriss2



A technique for field measurements of methane fluxes at a water-atmosphere interface as a function of air velocity has been developed and tested. The method uses a partitioned chamber placed over the water surface where the air velocity along the surface can be controlled. CH4 fluxes as low as 2 × 10−3 (± 0.05) g m−2 day−1 were measured in this way, and additional CH4-flux data were determined as functions of air velocity from 0.9 (± 0.1) m sec−1 to 4.4 (± 0.37) m sec−1. Emission rates of gas across an air-water interface is controlled by shear stress of winds in the overlying gas. Our objective was to develop a relatively simple field system which had the capability of quantitatively controlling air velocity over the water surface within the chamber sampling area. This technique has the important advantage of including a continuous monitoring system so that data can be observed on site. Measurements obtained in a coastal wetland creek demonstrate that the CH4 flux passing through a water-atmosphere interface can be quantified as a function of air velocity over the water surface.

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