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Estimates of reservoir methane emissions based on a spatially balanced probabilistic-survey
Beaulieu, J., M. McManus, AND C. Nietch. Estimates of reservoir methane emissions based on a spatially balanced probabilistic-survey. LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Lawrence, KS, 61(1):S27-S40, (2016).
To inform the public.
Global estimates of methane (CH4) emissions from reservoirs are poorly constrained, partly due to the challenges of accounting for intra-reservoir spatial variability. Reservoir-scale emission rates are often estimated by extrapolating from measurement made at a few locations; however, error and bias associated with this approach can be large and difficult to quantify. Here we use a generalized random tessellation survey (GRTS) design to generate estimates of central tendency and variance at multiple spatial scales in a reservoir. GRTS survey designs are probabilistic and spatially balanced which eliminates bias associated with expert judgment in site selection. GRTS surveys also allow for variance estimates that account for spatial pattern in emission rates. Total CH4 emission rates (i.e. sum of ebullition and diffusive emissions) were 4.8 (±2.1), 33.0 (±10.7), and 8.3 (±2.2) mg CH4 m-2 h-1 in open-waters, tributary associated areas, and the entire reservoir for the period in August 2014 during which 115 sites were sampled across an 7.98 km2 reservoir in Southwestern, Ohio, USA. Tributary areas occupy 12% of the reservoir surface, but were the source of 41% of total CH4 emissions, highlighting the importance of riverine-lacustrine transition zones. Ebullition accounted for >90% of CH4 emission at all spatial scales. Confidence interval estimates that incorporated spatial pattern in CH4 emissions were up to 29% narrower than when spatial independence is assumed among sites. GRTS designs are a powerful approach for providing statistically based estimates of reservoir emissions and improving our understanding of the controls on reservoir CH4 emissions at multiple scales.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
WATER SYSTEMS DIVISION