Comparison of static chambers to measure CH4 emissions from soils

Mari Pihlatie, Jesper Riis Christiansen, Hermanni Aaltonen, Janne Korhonen, Annika Nordbo, Terhi Rasilo, Giuseppe Benanti, Michael Giebels, Mohamed Helmy, Jatta Sheehy, Stephanie Jones, Radoslaw Juszczak, Roland Klefoth, Raquel Lobo-do-Vale, Ana Paula Rosa, Peter Schreiber, Dominique Serca, Sara Vicca, Benjamin Wolf, Jukka Pumpanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The static chamber method (non-flow-through-non-steady-state chambers) is the most common method to measure fluxes of methane (CH4) from soils. Laboratory comparisons to quantify errors resulting from
chamber design, operation and flux calculation methods are rare. We tested fifteen chambers against four flux levels (FL) ranging from 200 to 2300 g CH4m−2 h−1. The measurements were conducted on a calibration tank using three quartz sand types with soil porosities of 53% (dry fine sand, S1), 47% (dry
coarse sand, S2), and 33% (wetted fine sand, S3). The chambers tested ranged from 0.06 to 1.8 m in height, and 0.02 to 0.195 m3 in volume, 7 of them were equipped with a fan, and 1 with a vent-tube. We applied linear and exponential flux calculation methods to the chamber data and compared these chamber fluxes to the reference fluxes from the calibration tank.
The chambers underestimated the reference fluxes by on average 33% by the linear flux calculation method (Rlin), whereas the chamber fluxes calculated by the exponential flux calculation method (Rexp) did not significantly differ from the reference fluxes (p < 0.05). The flux under- or overestimations were
chamber specific and independent of flux level. Increasing chamber height, area and volume significantly reduced the flux underestimation (p < 0.05). Also, the use of non-linear flux calculation method significantly improved the flux estimation; however, simultaneously the uncertainty in the fluxes was
increased. We provide correction factors, which can be used to correct the under- or overestimation of the fluxes by the chambers in the experiment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Pages (from-to)124-136
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 114 Physical sciences

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