Eddy correlation measurements of methane flux in a northern peatland ecosystem

Shashi B. Verma, Frank G. Ullman, David Billesbach, Robert J. Clement, Joon Kim, E. S. Verry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


A pilot study to measure methane flux using eddy correlation sensors was conducted in a peatland ecosystem in north central Minnesota. A prototype tunable diode laser spectrometer system was employed to measure the fluctuations in methane concentration. The logarithmic cospectrum of methane concentration and vertical wind velocity fluctuations under moderately unstable conditions had a peak near f = 0.10 (where f is the nondimensional frequency) and was quite similar to the cospectra of water vapor and sensible heat. Daytime methane flux during the first two weeks of August ranged from 120 to 270 mg m-2 day-1. The temporal variation in methane fluxes was consistent with changes in peat temperature and water table elevation. Our results compared well with the range of values obtained in previous studies in Minnesota peatlands. These field observations demonstrate the utility of the micrometeorological eddy correlation technique for measuring surface fluxes of methane. The current state-of-the-art in tunable diode laser spectroscopy makes this approach practical for use in key ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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