Methane efflux from the pelagic regions of four lakes


  • Laurence G. Miller,

  • Ronald S. Oremland


Methane emission to the atmosphere was studied in the deepest, central (“pelagic”) regions of one freshwater and three meromictic, alkaline saline lakes. The range of methane emissions was 0.0004 to 2.916 mmol m−2 h−1 (n = 41). Outward flux was dominated by bubble ebullition only in the freshwater lake. Diffusive gas exchange was the sole mechanism of transfer in the meromictic lakes, and flux from these lakes was equivalent to or lower than that from the freshwater lake during its periods of ebullition. A comparison of measured flux with flux calculated using a model of gas exchange in Mono Lake suggested that floating chambers provide reasonable estimates of the magnitude of methane emissions from diffusion-dominated systems.