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Title: Sediment Characteristics and Methane Ebullition in Three Subarctic Lakes

Abstract

Ebullition (bubbling) from climate-sensitive northern lakes remains an unconstrained source of atmospheric methane (CH 4). Although the focus of many recent studies, ebullition is rarely linked to the physical characteristics of lakes. In this study we analyze the sediments of subarctic postglacial lakes and investigate how sediment properties relate to the large spatial variation in CH 4 bubble flux, quantified over multiple years using bubble traps. The results show that the sediments from our lakes are rich in total organic carbon, containing 37 kg/m 3 on average. This number is roughly 40% higher than the average for yedoma deposits, which have been identified as high CH 4 emitters. However, the quantity of total organic carbon is not a useful indicator of high emissions from the study lakes. Neither is the amount of CH 4 in the sediment a reliable measure of ebullition potential. Instead, our data point to coarse detritus, partly from buried submerged aquatic vegetation and redeposited peat as spatial controls on fluxes, often in combination with previously established effects of incoming solar radiation and water depth. The results once again highlight the climate sensitivity of northern lakes, indicating that biological responses to warmer waters and increased energy inputmore » and heating of organic sediments during longer ice-free seasons can substantially alter future CH 4 emissions.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Stockholm Univ. (Sweden)
  2. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
  3. Univ. of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princes Anne, MD (United States)
  4. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States); Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1539734
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1465892
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0004632; SC0010580; SC0004632 and DE-SC0010580
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-8953
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Geology

Citation Formats

Wik, Martin, Johnson, Joel E., Crill, Patrick M., DeStasio, Joel P., Erickson, Lance, Halloran, Madison J., Fahnestock, M. Florencia, Crawford, Maurice K., Phillips, Stephen C., and Varner, Ruth K. Sediment Characteristics and Methane Ebullition in Three Subarctic Lakes. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2017jg004298.
Wik, Martin, Johnson, Joel E., Crill, Patrick M., DeStasio, Joel P., Erickson, Lance, Halloran, Madison J., Fahnestock, M. Florencia, Crawford, Maurice K., Phillips, Stephen C., & Varner, Ruth K. Sediment Characteristics and Methane Ebullition in Three Subarctic Lakes. United States. doi:10.1029/2017jg004298.
Wik, Martin, Johnson, Joel E., Crill, Patrick M., DeStasio, Joel P., Erickson, Lance, Halloran, Madison J., Fahnestock, M. Florencia, Crawford, Maurice K., Phillips, Stephen C., and Varner, Ruth K. Wed . "Sediment Characteristics and Methane Ebullition in Three Subarctic Lakes". United States. doi:10.1029/2017jg004298. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1539734.
@article{osti_1539734,
title = {Sediment Characteristics and Methane Ebullition in Three Subarctic Lakes},
author = {Wik, Martin and Johnson, Joel E. and Crill, Patrick M. and DeStasio, Joel P. and Erickson, Lance and Halloran, Madison J. and Fahnestock, M. Florencia and Crawford, Maurice K. and Phillips, Stephen C. and Varner, Ruth K.},
abstractNote = {Ebullition (bubbling) from climate-sensitive northern lakes remains an unconstrained source of atmospheric methane (CH4). Although the focus of many recent studies, ebullition is rarely linked to the physical characteristics of lakes. In this study we analyze the sediments of subarctic postglacial lakes and investigate how sediment properties relate to the large spatial variation in CH4 bubble flux, quantified over multiple years using bubble traps. The results show that the sediments from our lakes are rich in total organic carbon, containing 37 kg/m3 on average. This number is roughly 40% higher than the average for yedoma deposits, which have been identified as high CH4 emitters. However, the quantity of total organic carbon is not a useful indicator of high emissions from the study lakes. Neither is the amount of CH4 in the sediment a reliable measure of ebullition potential. Instead, our data point to coarse detritus, partly from buried submerged aquatic vegetation and redeposited peat as spatial controls on fluxes, often in combination with previously established effects of incoming solar radiation and water depth. The results once again highlight the climate sensitivity of northern lakes, indicating that biological responses to warmer waters and increased energy input and heating of organic sediments during longer ice-free seasons can substantially alter future CH4 emissions.},
doi = {10.1029/2017jg004298},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences},
issn = {2169-8953},
number = 8,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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