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Methane flux measurements on multiple scales in an agricultural landscape: linking tall tower flux measurements with short eddy covariance towers

Peltola, Olli; Hensen, Arjan; Helfter, Carole; Belelli Marchesini, Luca; Bosveld, Fred C.; van den Bulk, Pim; Haapanala, Sami; Laurila, Tuomas; Lindroth, Anders; Nemitz, Eiko; Röckmann, Thomas; Vermeulen, Alex; Mammarella, Ivan. 2014 Methane flux measurements on multiple scales in an agricultural landscape: linking tall tower flux measurements with short eddy covariance towers. [Poster] In: 4th iLEAPS Science Conference, Nanjing, China, 12-16 May 2014. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

Agricultural landscapes exhibit spatially and temporally complex methane (CH4) fluxes: emissions originate from strong point sources, such as ruminants and cowsheds, and from fertilisation of fields, which adds short-term peaks in the methane flux to the atmosphere [1]. Furthermore, in some locations, such as the study site, these sources are overlaid on a CH4 flux originating from underlying peaty soils and drainage ditches between the fields [2]. In order to account for all these different sources, the CH4 fluxes need to be monitored continuously with a system that integrates the fluxes over a large area, providing the effective flux of CH4 from the landscape (~1 km2) to the atmosphere. Traditionally eddy covariance (EC) method has been used to obtain the ecosystem scale (~ 1 ha) fluxes of various compounds. However, it is questionable whether EC fluxes at one location can capture the high variability of CH4 fluxes in an agricultural landscape. To test this, methane exchange was measured at three locations with short (6.5 m high) EC towers a few kilometres apart from each other and at two heights (20 m and 60 m) in one tall tower. Additionally, it is assessed whether the short tower fluxes can be upscaled to match the CH4 fluxes measured at the tall tower using footprint modelling. The measurement campaign was held between the 1st and 25th of July 2012 in the vicinity of the Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR) (51°58’12.00”N, 4°55’34.48”E), which is located in the Netherlands. The landscape is an intensively managed agricultural area, with soil consisting of peat, topped by an approximately 1 meter thick bed of clay. Tentative results show large variability in CH4 fluxes between the three short tower sites: cumulative CH4 fluxes over a 10-day-period range from 188 mg(CH4) m-2 to 306 mg(CH4) m-2. Tall tower CH4 fluxes from the same period summed up to 275 mg(CH4) m-2 (20 m height) and 430 mg(CH4) m-2 (60 m height). High fluxes at 60 m height could be explained by cowsheds within the footprint, whereas systems located closer to the ground did not detect the hotspot emissions from the cowsheds. The presentation will discuss CH4 flux variability in an agricultural landscape, issues related to upscaling flux measurements and the usability of EC CH4 flux measurements at tall towers for estimating landscape scale exchange of methane. [1] P.S. Kroon et al., 2007, Biogeosciences, 4, 715-728. [2] A.P. Schrier-Uijl et al., 2010, Plant Soil, 329, 509-520.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
CEH Sections: Dise
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 26 Nov 2014 12:50 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/508804

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