Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Biogeosciences, 11, 4251-4269, 2014
http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/4251/2014/
doi:10.5194/bg-11-4251-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
13 Aug 2014
Physical controls on CH4 emissions from a newly flooded subtropical freshwater hydroelectric reservoir: Nam Theun 2
C. Deshmukh1,2,*, D. Serça1, C. Delon1, R. Tardif3, M. Demarty4, C. Jarnot1, Y. Meyerfeld1, V. Chanudet5, P. Guédant3, W. Rode3, S. Descloux5, and F. Guérin6,7 1Laboratoire d'Aérologie – Université de Toulouse – CNRS UMR 5560; 14 Av. Edouard Belin, 31400, Toulouse, France
2TERI University, New Delhi, India
3Nam Theun 2 Power Company Limited (NTPC), Environment & Social Division – Water Quality and Biodiversity Dept. – Gnommalath Office, P.O. Box 5862, Vientiane, Lao PDR
4Environnement Illimite, 1453 rue Saint Timothee, Montreal QC, Canada
5Electriciteì de France, Hydro Engineering Centre, Sustainable Development Dpt, Savoie Technolac, 73373, Le Bourget du Lac, France
6Université de Toulouse; UPS GET, 14 Avenue E. Belin, 31400, Toulouse, France
7IRD; UR 234, GET ; 14 Avenue E. Belin, 31400, Toulouse, France
*now at: Nam Theun 2 Power Company Limited (NTPC), Environment & Social Division – Water Quality and Biodiversity Dept. – Gnommalath Office, P.O. Box 5862, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Abstract. In the present study, we measured independently CH4 ebullition and diffusion in the footprint of an eddy covariance system (EC) measuring CH4 emissions in the Nam Theun 2 Reservoir, a recently impounded (2008) subtropical hydroelectric reservoir located in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), Southeast Asia. The EC fluxes were very consistent with the sum of the two terms measured independently (diffusive fluxes + ebullition = EC fluxes), indicating that the EC system picked up both diffusive fluxes and ebullition from the reservoir. We showed a diurnal bimodal pattern of CH4 emissions anti-correlated with atmospheric pressure. During daytime, a large atmospheric pressure drop triggers CH4 ebullition (up to 100 mmol m−2 d−1), whereas at night, a more moderate peak of CH4 emissions was recorded. As a consequence, fluxes during daytime were twice as high as during nighttime.

Additionally, more than 4800 discrete measurements of CH4 ebullition were performed at a weekly/fortnightly frequency, covering water depths ranging from 0.4 to 16 m and various types of flooded ecosystems. Methane ebullition varies significantly seasonally and depends mostly on water level change during the warm dry season, whereas no relationship was observed during the cold dry season. On average, ebullition was 8.5 ± 10.5 mmol m−2 d−1 and ranged from 0 to 201.7 mmol m−2 d−1.

An artificial neural network (ANN) model could explain up to 46% of seasonal variability of ebullition by considering total static pressure (the sum of hydrostatic and atmospheric pressure), variations in the total static pressure, and bottom temperature as controlling factors. This model allowed extrapolation of CH4 ebullition on the reservoir scale and performance of gap filling over four years. Our results clearly showed a very high seasonality: 50% of the yearly CH4 ebullition occurs within four months of the warm dry season. Overall, ebullition contributed 60–80% of total emissions from the surface of the reservoir (disregarding downstream emissions), suggesting that ebullition is a major pathway in young hydroelectric reservoirs in the tropics.


Citation: Deshmukh, C., Serça, D., Delon, C., Tardif, R., Demarty, M., Jarnot, C., Meyerfeld, Y., Chanudet, V., Guédant, P., Rode, W., Descloux, S., and Guérin, F.: Physical controls on CH4 emissions from a newly flooded subtropical freshwater hydroelectric reservoir: Nam Theun 2, Biogeosciences, 11, 4251-4269, doi:10.5194/bg-11-4251-2014, 2014.
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