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Keywords:

  • bubbling;
  • ebullition;
  • methane;
  • time-series;
  • wavelets

[1] Freshwater lakes can emit significant quantities of methane to the atmosphere by bubbling. The high spatial and temporal heterogeneity of ebullition, combined with a lack of high-resolution field measurements, has made it difficult to accurately estimate methane fluxes or determine the underlying mechanisms for bubble release. We use a high-temporal resolution data set of ebullitive fluxes from the eutrophic Upper Mystic Lake, Massachusetts to understand the triggers that lead to bubbling from submerged sediments. A wavelet approach is introduced to detect ebullition events for multiple time-scales, and is complemented with traditional statistical methods for data analyses. We show that bubble release from lake sediments occurred synchronously at several sites, and was closely associated with small, aperiodic drops in total hydrostatic pressure. Such results are essential to constrain mechanistic models and to design future measurement schemes, particularly with respect to the temporal scales that are needed to accurately observe and quantify ebullition in aquatic ecosystems.