Atmospheric pollutants and trace gases: Laboratory-scale measurement of trace gas fluxes from landfarm soils

Sandra Ausma*, Grant C. Edwards, Terry J. Gillespie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Trace gas emissions from refinery and bioremediation landfarms were investigated in a mesocosm-scale simulator facility. Five simulators were constructed and integrated with a data acquisition system and trace gas analyzers, allowing automated real-time sampling and calculation of total hydrocarbon (THC), CO2, and water vapor fluxes. Experiments evaluating the influence of simulated cultivation and rainfall on trace gas fluxes from the soil surfaces were conducted. Results were compared with published field results. Results showed that cultivating dry or moderately wet soil resulted in brief enhancements of THC fluxes, up to a factor of 10, followed by a sharp decline. Cultivating dry soil did not enhance respiration. Cultivating wet soil did result in sustained elevated levels of respiration. Total hydrocarbon emissions were also briefly enhanced in wet soils, but to a lesser magnitude than in dry soil. Hydrocarbon fluxes from refinery landfarm soil were very low for the duration of the experiments. This lead to the conclusion that elevated THC fluxes would only be expected during waste application. An evaluation of the influence of simultaneous water vapor fluxes on other trace gas fluxes highlighted the importance in lab-scale experiments of correcting trace gas fluxes from soils. The results from this research can be used to guide management practices at landfarms and to provide data to aid in assessing the effect of landfarms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-22
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


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