Radiocarbon analysis of methane emitted from the surface of a raised peat bog

Garnett, M. , Hardie, S.M.L. and Murray, C. (2012) Radiocarbon analysis of methane emitted from the surface of a raised peat bog. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 50, pp. 158-163. (doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.03.018)




We developed a method to determine the radiocarbon (14C) concentration of methane (CH4) emitted from the surface of peatlands. The method involves the collection of ~ 9 L of air from a static gas sampling chamber which is returned to the laboratory in a foil gas bag. Carbon dioxide is completely removed by passing the sample gas firstly through soda lime and then molecular sieve. Sample methane is then combusted to CO2, cryogenically purified and subsequently processed using routine radiocarbon methods. We verified the reliability of the method using laboratory isotope standards, and successfully trialled it at a temperate raised peat bog, where we found that CH4 emitted from the surface dated to 195-1399 years BP. The new method provides both a reliable and portable way to 14C date methane even at the low concentrations typically associated with peatland surface emissions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Garnett, Dr Mark and Murray, Mr Callum
Authors: Garnett, M., Hardie, S.M.L., and Murray, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Published Online:09 April 2012

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