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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2020-8
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2020-8
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  14 Apr 2020

14 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GI.

Using near-surface atmospheric measurements as a proxy for quantifying field-scale soil gas flux

Andrew Barkwith1, Stan E. Beaubien2, Thomas Barlow1, Karen Kirk1, Thomas R. Lister1, Maria C. Tartarello2, and Helen Taylor1 Andrew Barkwith et al.
  • 1British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
  • 2Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", Rome, 00185, Italy

Abstract. We present a new method for deriving surface soil gas flux at the field scale, which is less field-work intensive than traditional chamber techniques and less expensive than those derived from airborne or space surveys. The technique uses aspects of chamber and micrometeorological methods combined with a mobile platform and GPS to rapidly derive soil gas fluxes at the field-scale. There are several assumptions in using this method, which will be most accurate under stable atmospheric conditions with little horizontal wind flow. Results show that soil gas fluxes, when averaged across a field site, are highly comparable between the method presented and traditional chamber acquisition techniques. Atmospheric dilution is found to reduce the range of flux values under the open field-scale method, when compared to chamber derived results. Under ideal atmospheric conditions it may be possible to use the presented method to derive soil gas flux at an individual point, however this requires further investigation. The new method for deriving soil-atmosphere gas exchange at the field-scale could be useful for a number of applications including quantification of CCS leakage, diffuse degassing in volcanic and geothermal areas and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Andrew Barkwith et al.

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Andrew Barkwith et al.

Andrew Barkwith et al.

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Short summary
Soil gas flux describes the movement of various gases either to or from the ground. The ability to efficiently detect changes in soil gas flux has the potential to better understand and detect leakage from Under Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) schemes, diffuse degassing in volcanic and geothermal areas and greenhouse-gas emissions. Traditional chamber-based techniques may require weeks of fieldwork to to assess a site. We present a new method to speed up assessment of diffuse leakage.
Soil gas flux describes the movement of various gases either to or from the ground. The ability...
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