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Soil Greenhouse Gas Monitoring

Monitoring gas flux in soilsSoils are a major source of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) due to the biological and non-biological process that take place within them. The monitoring of GHGs from soil therefore represents an important part of climate change research. Typically, researchers will need to monitor GHGs such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O); all of which are easily measured simultaneously with Gasmet FTIR analysers. However, one of the major advantages of Gasmet FTIR is the ability to also monitor almost any other gas. For example, many researchers also monitor water, carbon monoxide and ammonia, amongst others.

There are two main methods for the measurement of GHG soil fluxes:

  1. Samples are (laboriously) collected by syringe for laboratory analysis, or
  2. Measurements are undertaken onsite with a transportable analyser

Historically, field analysis has been impractical because instrumentation has been unsuitable for field operation and mains power was required. However, the development of portable, robust, battery-powered FTIR gas analysers by Gasmet Technologies has enabled the reliable onsite analysis of GHGs.

By conducting measurements onsite, researchers are able to avoid the delays, costs and sample transport errors that are incurred by lab analysis. Furthermore, Gasmet's FTIR analysers enable the creation of a large number of data points in a short period; improving the quality of data and reducing the time and costs of monitoring.

In the following video, Dr. Joseph Storlien (Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Saint John's University, USA) describes his experience with Gasmet FTIR analysers in the measurement of greenhouse gas soil fluxes.

Click here for an article on Dr Storlien's work on the measurement of soil GHG fluxes in bioenergy crops.

Greenhouse gas flux measurements in soilSoil gas fluxes are commonly measured with a chamber method in which an open-bottom soil chamber is placed on the ground and the concentration changes per chamber-footprint-area are measured over time. The chamber can be integrated with a Gasmet gas analyser, forming a closed-loop system in which the gas sample is circulated through the analyser back to the chamber.
In the image opposite, the FTIR analyzer and other equipment is deployed in a trolley, but DX4040 can also be carried in a bespoke backpack.
The image also shows a typical flux chamber.
 
The short video below provides a simple explanation of the chamber method. Please note that this is for demonstration purposes only and monitoring would not normally take place in winter or with the use of duct tape.
 

 

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For more information

Telephone us on on +44 (0)1908 227722

Quantitech Ltd
Unit 3, Old Wolverton Road
Milton Keynes
England
MK12 5NP

Quantitech is a subsidiary of Gasmet Technologies Oy

Tel: +44 (0)1908 227722
Fax: +44 (0)1908 227733
Email: info@quantitech.co.uk

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