Spatial and seasonal fluxes of the greenhouse gases N2O, CO2 and CH4 in a UK macrotidal estuary

JF Harley, L Carvalho, B Dudley, KV Heal, RM Rees, U Skiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The spatial and seasonal dynamics of surface water fluxes of the greenhouse gases (GHG) CO2, CH4, and N2O were quantified in the Tay estuary, Scotland, on seven sampling occasions every 3 months during 2009/2010. This estuary is a relatively pristine river-dominated macrotidal estuary system of a type that is sparsely represented in global GHG flux studies. Significant spatial and temporal variability in GHG fluxes were measured, with similar spatial dynamics to that of other European estuaries. Greatest temporal and spatial variability in gas saturations were found for CH4, which was higher in the summer, with peaks in saturation occurring in the freshwater upper estuary and sharply decreasing in the midestuary mixing zone. Concentrations of CO2 and N2O were also generally higher in the upper to middle estuary in summer, although seasonality was less pronounced. Estimated air-sea fluxes also displayed significant spatial and temporal variability. Total annual CO2 emissions were greatest in the middle estuary zone (13.8 106 kg C yr 1), and lowest in the upper estuary (1.52 106 kg C yr 1). Seasonally, the highest CO2 emissions integrated across the estuary were in spring and autumn, with the lowest in winter. Total annual CH4 emissions were also highest in the middle estuary (0.05 106 kg C yr 1) and lowest in the upper estuary (0.01 106 kg C yr 1), whereas total N2O emissions, whilst highest in the middle estuary (2344 kg N yr 1), were lowest in the outer estuary ( 435 kg N yr 1). Emissions of CH4 and N2O were substantially higher in the summer than any other season and lowest emissions were found in winter. The estimated annual exchange of both CO2 and N2O is substantially lower than those reported in other European macrotidal estuaries. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62 - 73
Number of pages12
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume153
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 2015

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greenhouse gas
estuary
summer
saturation
seasonality
autumn
surface water
winter
sampling
air
gas
river

Bibliographical note

52740014

Keywords

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Emissions
  • Estuaries
  • Methane
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Tay Estuary
  • Water quality

Cite this

Harley, JF ; Carvalho, L ; Dudley, B ; Heal, KV ; Rees, RM ; Skiba, U. / Spatial and seasonal fluxes of the greenhouse gases N2O, CO2 and CH4 in a UK macrotidal estuary. In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 2015 ; Vol. 153. pp. 62 - 73.
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Spatial and seasonal fluxes of the greenhouse gases N2O, CO2 and CH4 in a UK macrotidal estuary. / Harley, JF; Carvalho, L; Dudley, B; Heal, KV; Rees, RM; Skiba, U.

In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 153, 2015, p. 62 - 73.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Spatial and seasonal fluxes of the greenhouse gases N2O, CO2 and CH4 in a UK macrotidal estuary

AU - Harley, JF

AU - Carvalho, L

AU - Dudley, B

AU - Heal, KV

AU - Rees, RM

AU - Skiba, U

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PY - 2015

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N2 - The spatial and seasonal dynamics of surface water fluxes of the greenhouse gases (GHG) CO2, CH4, and N2O were quantified in the Tay estuary, Scotland, on seven sampling occasions every 3 months during 2009/2010. This estuary is a relatively pristine river-dominated macrotidal estuary system of a type that is sparsely represented in global GHG flux studies. Significant spatial and temporal variability in GHG fluxes were measured, with similar spatial dynamics to that of other European estuaries. Greatest temporal and spatial variability in gas saturations were found for CH4, which was higher in the summer, with peaks in saturation occurring in the freshwater upper estuary and sharply decreasing in the midestuary mixing zone. Concentrations of CO2 and N2O were also generally higher in the upper to middle estuary in summer, although seasonality was less pronounced. Estimated air-sea fluxes also displayed significant spatial and temporal variability. Total annual CO2 emissions were greatest in the middle estuary zone (13.8 106 kg C yr 1), and lowest in the upper estuary (1.52 106 kg C yr 1). Seasonally, the highest CO2 emissions integrated across the estuary were in spring and autumn, with the lowest in winter. Total annual CH4 emissions were also highest in the middle estuary (0.05 106 kg C yr 1) and lowest in the upper estuary (0.01 106 kg C yr 1), whereas total N2O emissions, whilst highest in the middle estuary (2344 kg N yr 1), were lowest in the outer estuary ( 435 kg N yr 1). Emissions of CH4 and N2O were substantially higher in the summer than any other season and lowest emissions were found in winter. The estimated annual exchange of both CO2 and N2O is substantially lower than those reported in other European macrotidal estuaries. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

AB - The spatial and seasonal dynamics of surface water fluxes of the greenhouse gases (GHG) CO2, CH4, and N2O were quantified in the Tay estuary, Scotland, on seven sampling occasions every 3 months during 2009/2010. This estuary is a relatively pristine river-dominated macrotidal estuary system of a type that is sparsely represented in global GHG flux studies. Significant spatial and temporal variability in GHG fluxes were measured, with similar spatial dynamics to that of other European estuaries. Greatest temporal and spatial variability in gas saturations were found for CH4, which was higher in the summer, with peaks in saturation occurring in the freshwater upper estuary and sharply decreasing in the midestuary mixing zone. Concentrations of CO2 and N2O were also generally higher in the upper to middle estuary in summer, although seasonality was less pronounced. Estimated air-sea fluxes also displayed significant spatial and temporal variability. Total annual CO2 emissions were greatest in the middle estuary zone (13.8 106 kg C yr 1), and lowest in the upper estuary (1.52 106 kg C yr 1). Seasonally, the highest CO2 emissions integrated across the estuary were in spring and autumn, with the lowest in winter. Total annual CH4 emissions were also highest in the middle estuary (0.05 106 kg C yr 1) and lowest in the upper estuary (0.01 106 kg C yr 1), whereas total N2O emissions, whilst highest in the middle estuary (2344 kg N yr 1), were lowest in the outer estuary ( 435 kg N yr 1). Emissions of CH4 and N2O were substantially higher in the summer than any other season and lowest emissions were found in winter. The estimated annual exchange of both CO2 and N2O is substantially lower than those reported in other European macrotidal estuaries. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KW - Biogeochemistry

KW - Carbon dioxide

KW - Emissions

KW - Estuaries

KW - Methane

KW - Nitrous oxide

KW - Tay Estuary

KW - Water quality

U2 - 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.12.004

DO - 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.12.004

M3 - Article

VL - 153

SP - 62

EP - 73

JO - Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

JF - Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

SN - 0272-7714

ER -