Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases

Biological and abiological processes in soil represent a major source of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). The measurement of GHGs from soil therefore represents an important part of climate change research. GHGs, such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O), released from soils into the atmosphere are primarily biogenic by origin.

Soil Flux Measurement Methods

Generally there are two different ways to measure GHG soil flux: either the samples are collected by syringe for laboratory analysis or measurements may be undertaken onsite in order to avoid the delays, costs and sample transport errors that this entails. The development of portable, robust, battery-powered soil flux analyzers by Gasmet Technologies has enabled the reliable onsite analysis of GHGs.

One of the most widely used techniques to measure soil fluxes is a chamber method in which an open-bottom soil chamber is placed on the ground and the concentration changes per chamber footprint area are measured over time. The soil chamber can be integrated with a Gasmet soil flux analyzer, forming a closed-loop system in which the gas sample is circulated through the analyzer back to the chamber.

Soil Flux Analyzers for Greenhouse Gases

Gasmet provides two field-deployable non-destructive FTIR based soil flux analyzers for continuous multicomponent gas analyses: DX4040 and DX4015. These robust gas analyzers enable the measurement up to 50 different gas compounds simultaneously. Both soil flux analyzers are ideal for field work and capable of taking samples from several chambers automatically.

The FTIR technology is well-suited for measurements of greenhouse gases over wide ranges, and is ideal for different soil types, such as terrestrial ecosystems, agricultural soils and aquatic environments, with varying GHG emissions. Gasmet soil flux analyzers provide the users with the ability to follow concentration changes in real-time, and to study and analyze the results as soon as they are collected.

These analyzers do not require span calibrations; zero calibration with nitrogen gas or ambient air is all that is necessary. As a result, field operations are quick and simple, and their small footprint makes them attractive in the laboratory environment.