The static chamber method (non-flow-through-non-steady-state chambers) is the most common method to measure fluxes of methane (CH4) from soils. Laboratory comparisons to quantify errors resulting from chamber design, operation and flux calculation methods are rare. We tested fifteen chambers against four flux levels (FL) ranging from 200 to 2300μgCH4m-2h-1. The measurements were conducted on a calibration tank using three quartz sand types with soil porosities of 53% (dry fine sand, S1), 47% (dry coarse sand, S2), and 33% (wetted fine sand, S3). The chambers tested ranged from 0.06 to 1.8m in height, and 0.02 to 0.195m3 in volume, 7 of them were equipped with a fan, and 1 with a vent-tube. We applied linear and exponential flux calculation methods to the chamber data and compared these chamber fluxes to the reference fluxes from the calibration tank. The chambers underestimated the reference fluxes by on average 33% by the linear flux calculation method (Rlin), whereas the chamber fluxes calculated by the exponential flux calculation method (Rexp) did not significantly differ from the reference fluxes (p<0.05). The flux under- or overestimations were chamber specific and independent of flux level. Increasing chamber height, area and volume significantly reduced the flux underestimation (p<0.05). Also, the use of non-linear flux calculation method significantly improved the flux estimation; however, simultaneously the uncertainty in the fluxes was increased. We provide correction factors, which can be used to correct the under- or overestimation of the fluxes by the chambers in the experiment.
- Flux calculation
- Static chamber