20 Feb 2023
 | 20 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Technical note: Skirt-chamber – An open dynamic method for the rapid and minimally-intrusive measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands

Frederic Thalasso, Brenda Riquelme, Andrés Gómez, Roy Mackenzie, Francisco Javier Aguirre, Jorge Hoyos-Santillan, Ricardo Rozzi, and Armando Sepulveda-Jauregui

Abstract. We present a reliable and robust open dynamic chamber for measuring greenhouse gas exchange in peatlands with minimal disturbance of the ground. This chamber, called "skirt-chamber", is based on a transparent plastic film, placed above an open frame made of sparse interwoven wires, and expanded around the base of the chamber below a steel chain that ensures contact to the ground, avoiding damage, trenching or cutting vegetation. Gas exchange is determined using a portable gas analyzer from a mass balance in which the imperfect sealing of the chamber to the ground is quantified through the injection a methane pulse. The method was tested on a pristine peatland dominated by Sphagnum magellanicum located on Navarino Island at the subantarctic Magellanic ecoregion in Chile. Our results indicate that, the skirt-chamber allowed determining methane fluxes and ecosystem respiration, in about 20 minutes, with a limit of detection of 0.185 mg CH4 m-2 h-1, and 173 mg CO2 m-2 h-1, respectively. We conclude that the skirt-chamber is a minimally-intrusive, fast, portable, and inexpensive method that allows the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions with high spatial resolution in remote locations and without delay.

Frederic Thalasso et al.

Status: open (until 17 Apr 2023)

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Frederic Thalasso et al.

Frederic Thalasso et al.


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Short summary
A robust skirt-chamber design to capture and quantify greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands is presented. Compared to standard methods, this design improves the spatial resolution of field studies in remote locations, while minimizing intrusion.