In Journal of geophysical research. Biogeosciences
Estimating carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emission rates from reservoirs is important for regional and national greenhouse gas inventories. A lack of methodologically consistent data sets for many parts of the world, including agriculturally intensive areas of the United States, poses a major challenge to the development of models for predicting emission rates. In this study, we used a systematic approach to measure CO2 and CH4 diffusive and ebullitive emission rates from 32 reservoirs distributed across an agricultural to forested land use gradient in the United States. We found that all reservoirs were a source of CH4 to the atmosphere, with ebullition being the dominant emission pathway in 75% of the systems. Ebullition was a negligible emission pathway for CO2, and 65% of sampled reservoirs were a net CO2 sink. Boosted regression trees (BRTs), a type of machine learning algorithm, identified reservoir morphology and watershed agricultural land use as important predictors of emission rates. We used the BRT to predict CH4 emission rates for reservoirs in the U.S. state of Ohio and estimate they are the fourth largest anthropogenic CH4 source in the state. Our work demonstrates that CH4 emission rates for reservoirs in our study region can be predicted from information in readily available national geodatabases. Expanded sampling campaigns could generate the data needed to train models for upscaling in other U.S. regions or nationally.
Beaulieu Jake J, Waldo Sarah, Balz David A, Barnett Will, Hall Alexander, Platz Michelle C, White Karen M