Extreme event dynamics in methane ebullition fluxes from tropical reservoirs

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Abstract

[1] Tropical hydroelectric reservoirs generally constitute an appreciable source of CH4 (methane), a potent greenhouse gas. In this letter, we investigate the statistical characteristics of methane ebullition fluxes in hydroelectric reservoirs. To this end, we use CH4 flux measurements obtained in Manso (wet season, 2004) and Corumbá (dry and wet seasons, 2005) reservoirs, located respectively in Mato Grosso and Goiás, Brazil. Methane ebullition fluxes were measured using open dynamic chambers, connected to an infrared photo-acoustic trace gas analyzer (TGA). Our main result indicates that when properly rescaled, all methane ebullition data collapse into a single statistic well described by a Generalized Pareto distribution, with shape parameter well above zero. The approach presented here, which combines high-frequency CH4 ebullition data and Extreme Value theory analytical tools, shows that, although bubbling patterns appear to be highly complex and unpredictable, they may still be described by a rather simple (but non trivial) dynamics.

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