Development of a Portable, Battery Powered Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer for In-situ Measurements of Greenhouse Gases in Soils and Other Environments.

Poster Presentation

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Contact Information:; 702 300 6206


The net effect of forest soils on the overall atmospheric concentration of methane and carbon dioxide is complex and relies upon many different factors. The flux of these gases from the soils may vary significantly depending upon temperature, water content, soil compaction, soil composition, root structure within the soil, decaying forest components within the soil, and other factors. We have developed and tested a portable, battery powered quadrupole mass spectrometer that allows for in-situ, real time measurement of the concentration of gases in soils. This instrument allows for rapid, simultaneous quantification of methane, carbon dioxide, water vapor and other gases in the near surface region of the soils. Here, we have measured the concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide in the soils of the Coconino National Forest, comparing gas levels in regions of the forest that have been mechanically thinned vs. nearby regions that have been undisturbed.