Experimental studies over lakes
Recently, significant attention has been placed on the role of lakes and inland waters in the global carbon cycle. Although lakes cover <1% of the total surface of the Earth, they have been found to be a significant natural source of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. The amounts of these greenhouse gases emitted from inland waters are estimated to be of the same order of magnitude as absorbed by the global oceans (covering about 70% of the total Earth surface). These large fluxes motivate further studies on the subject.
The goal of this research is to try and determine and quantify the relevant processes that govern the exchange of methane and carbon dioxide between the lake and the atmosphere. Since 2010 we have operated a field site measuring the fluxes of CO2 and CH4 from lake surfaces. The field site is instrumented with instrumentation for application of the eddy covariance method when evaluating the fluxes. Additional instrumentation is used to measure mean meteorology (e.g. air temperature, wind speed, relative humidity). In combination with continuous waterside measurements of dissolved gases and water temperature we are able to perform extensive analyses of the observed fluxes.