Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The effect of sampling effort on estimates of methane ebullition from peat

Baird, Andy J.; Ramirez, Jorge A.; Coulthard, Tom J.


Andy J. Baird

Jorge A. Ramirez


© 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. We investigated the effect of sample size and sampling duration on methane bubble flux (ebullition) estimates from peat using a computer model. A field scale (10 m), seasonal ( > 100 days) simulation of ebullition from a two-dimensional (2-D) structurally varying peat profile was modeled at fine spatial resolution (1 mm × 1 mm). The spatial and temporal scale of this simulation was possible because of the computational efficiency of the reduced-complexity approach that was implemented, and patterns of simulated ebullition were consistent with those found in the field and laboratory. The simulated ebullition from the peat profile suggested that decreases in peat porosity—which cause increases in gas storage—produce ebullition that becomes increasingly patchy in space and erratic in time. By applying different amounts of spatial and temporal sampling effort, it was possible to determine the uncertainty in ebullition estimates from the peatland. The results suggest that traditional methods to measure ebullition can equally overestimate and underestimate flux by 20% and large ebullition events can lead to large overestimations of flux when sampling effort is low. Our findings support those of field studies, and we recommend that ebullition should be measured frequently (hourly to daily) and at many locations (n > 14).


Ramirez, J. A., Baird, A. J., & Coulthard, T. J. (2017). The effect of sampling effort on estimates of methane ebullition from peat. Water Resources Research, 53(5), 4158-4168.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 1, 2017
Online Publication Date May 22, 2017
Publication Date Jun 17, 2017
Deposit Date May 16, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Water resources research
Print ISSN 0043-1397
Electronic ISSN 1944-7973
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 5
Pages 4158-4168
Keywords Peatland; Methane ebullition; Sampling effort; Porosity
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article: Ramirez, J. A., A. J. Baird, and T. J. Coulthard (2017), The effect of sampling effort on estimates of methane ebullition from peat, Water Resour. Res., 53, 4158–4168, doi:10.1002/2017WR020428.


Article (1.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations