Measuring Carbon Fluxes at Illisarvik with Eddy Covariance

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: active layer, climate change, carbon dioxide, methane, climate monitoring

Principal Investigator: Skeeter, Wesley R (2)
Licence Number: 15903
Organization: University of British Columbia
Licensed Year(s): 2016
Issued: Jun 06, 2016
Project Team: (Assistant, Carleton University/University of British Columbia)

Objective(s): To measure carbon dioxide and methane fluxes at Illisarvik.

Project Description: The study will measure carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes at Illisarvik during the peak of the growing season using a combination of eddy covariance and gas chamber methods. The primary objective will be to determine the magnitude of CO2 and CH4 fluxes and determine whether sequestration offsets emission. Secondary objectives will be to observe the temporal and spatial variability of these fluxes and relate them to climatic and physiographic controls.

An eddy covariance (EC) system will be equipped with a sonic anemometer and two infrared gas analyzers (IRGA) one for measuring carbon dioxide (CO2) and one for methane (CH4). It will be placed on a tripod within the Illisarvik lake basin approximately 1.5 meters above the ground surface. The system will be run as close to continuously as possible during the time at the field site and will be powered with an array of three solar panels. Additionally, gas chamber (GC) samples will be taken at various locations within the basin on multiple days over the study period. The EC system will be the primary responsibility, while the GC samples will be taken by a graduate student. The GC samples will help account for the variable vegetation types, thaw depth, and soil moisture within the basin. Weather conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity and precipitation), soil conditions (e.g. temperature, moisture, and active layer depth), and solar radiation will be measured at the site using a combination of slow response sensors and manual measurement techniques. After the field campaign, footprint modeling will be used to determine the source area of the EC fluxes and the GC fluxes will be analyzed using gas chromatography. The EC fluxes will then be cross referenced with the GC fluxes to adjust the variable source strength within the footprints. Regression and cluster analysis will then be used to determine the effects of climatic and physiographic controls. Another research team will be present over the course of the study as part of the ongoing observation of permafrost development at the site. This research will be conducted in close coordination with theirs.

Multiple boat and helicopter charters will be required to transport personnel, equipment, and supplies to and from the field site. Additionally, the research team will be happy to give talks if invited to enhance awareness of the work and plan to make efforts to share the findings.

A plain language summary of the results will be written and posters will be created for display at the Aurora Research Institute and other locations. The research team are eager to give talks on the research to the community in Inuvik, especially the youth, if the opportunity arises. Additionally, the findings of this research will be published in an academic journal and presented at professional conferences such as Arctic Net.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 4, 2016 to August 10, 2016.