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Keywords:

  • CH4;
  • CO2;
  • greenhouse gas;
  • long-term monitoring;
  • N2O

Abstract

We describe an automated gas sampling system for monitoring trace gas fluxes from soils. The sampling system allows automated collection of gas samples in glass vials using a syringe pump connected to an automated static chamber installed in the field. The gas samples are transferred to a laboratory and then analyzed using a gas chromatography system. Comparisons between manual and automated sampling of standard gases showed good agreement (r2 = 0.99996 for N2O, r2 = 0.999 for CH4 and r2 = 0.998 for CO2). In a field test, replicated flux measurements using two chambers generally showed good agreement. The sampling system allows frequent and long-term monitoring of fluxes under a wide range of weather conditions (tested temperatures ranged from –6.5 to 40°C; 127 mm day−1 max precipitation). The major advantages of the system are its increased portability, ease of operation and cost effectiveness compared with on-line automated sampling/analytical systems.