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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

A Simple Chamber Technique for Field Measurement of Emissions of Nitrous Oxide from Soils1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 9 No. 2, p. 251-256
    Received: Aug 4, 1979

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  1. A. D. Matthias,
  2. A. M. Blackmer and
  3. J. M. Bremner2



A simple technique for field measurement of the rate of emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) from soil is described. It involves placement of an insulated cylindrical metal chamber over the soil surface for 20 min and removal of air samples from the chamber at 5-min intervals for N2O analysis by a sensitive gas chromatographic technique that permits use of the xenon in air as an internal standard. The rate of N2O emission is calculated from the rate of increase in the concentration of N 2O in the air within the chamber. This technique is sensitive and precise, and it has the important advantages that it does not significantly disturb the structure or environment of the soil under study and is not limited in use to sites where electricity or special equipment is available. The chamber described is inexpensive and easy to fabricate, transport, and use, and it is well suited for an extensive program of research on N2O emissions from soils.

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