Evaluating stream CO 2 outgassing via drifting and anchored flux chambers in a controlled flume experiment

Vingiani, Filippo; Durighetto, Nicola; Klaus, Marcus; Schelker, Jakob; Labasque, Thierry; Botter, Gianluca

Carbon dioxide (inline-formulaCO2) emissions from running waters represent a key component of the global carbon cycle. However, quantifying inline-formulaCO2 fluxes across air–water boundaries remains challenging due to practical difficulties in the estimation of reach-scale standardized gas exchange velocities (inline-formulak600) and water equilibrium concentrations. Whereas craft-made floating chambers supplied by internal inline-formulaCO2 sensors represent a promising technique to estimate inline-formulaCO2 fluxes from rivers, the existing literature lacks rigorous comparisons among differently designed chambers and deployment techniques. Moreover, as of now the uncertainty of inline-formulak600 estimates from chamber data has not been evaluated. Here, these issues were addressed by analysing the results of a flume experiment carried out in the Summer of 2019 in the Lunzer:::Rinnen – Experimental Facility (Austria). During the experiment, 100 runs were performed using two different chamber designs (namely, a standard chamber and a flexible foil chamber with an external floating system and a flexible sealing) and two different deployment modes (drifting and anchored). The runs were performed using various combinations of discharge and channel slope, leading to variable turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates (inline-formula M9inlinescrollmathml normal 1.5 × normal 10 - normal 3 < italic ε < normal 1 × normal 10 - normal 1 122pt14ptsvg-formulamathimg5aa18ee2468dab2f30eb1f1e0dfd4c9d bg-18-1223-2021-ie00001.svg122pt14ptbg-18-1223-2021-ie00001.png  minline-formula2 sinline-formula−3). Estimates of gas exchange velocities were in line with the existing literature (inline-formula M12inlinescrollmathml normal 4 < k normal 600 < normal 32 65pt12ptsvg-formulamathimg2f960d22be1c15c5badc779e3b52b001 bg-18-1223-2021-ie00002.svg65pt12ptbg-18-1223-2021-ie00002.png  minline-formula2 sinline-formula−3), with a general increase in inline-formulak600 for larger turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates. The flexible foil chamber gave consistent inline-formulak600 patterns in response to changes in the slope and/or the flow rate. Moreover, acoustic Doppler velocimeter measurements indicated a limited increase in the turbulence induced by the flexible foil chamber on the flow field (22 % increase in inline-formulaε, leading to a theoretical 5 % increase in inline-formulak600). The uncertainty in the estimate of gas exchange velocities was then estimated using a generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation (GLUE) procedure. Overall, uncertainty in inline-formulak600 was moderate to high, with enhanced uncertainty in high-energy set-ups. For the anchored mode, the standard deviations of inline-formulak600 were between 1.6 and 8.2 m dinline-formula−1, whereas significantly higher values were obtained in drifting mode. Interestingly, for the standard chamber the uncertainty was larger (inline-formula+ 20 %) as compared to the flexible foil chamber. Our study suggests that a flexible foil design and the anchored deployment might be useful techniques to enhance the robustness and the accuracy of inline-formulaCO2 measurements in low-order streams. Furthermore, the study demonstrates the value of analytical and numerical tools in the identification of accurate estimations for gas exchange velocities. These findings have important implications for improving estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and reaeration rates in running waters.

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Vingiani, Filippo / Durighetto, Nicola / Klaus, Marcus / et al: Evaluating stream CO2 outgassing via drifting and anchored flux chambers in a controlled flume experiment. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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