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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-231
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-231
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: brief communication 21 Oct 2019

Submitted as: brief communication | 21 Oct 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Brief Communication: The reliability of gas extraction techniques for analysing CH4 and N2O compositions in gas trapped in permafrost ice-wedges

Ji-Woong Yang1,a, Jinho Ahn1, Go Iwahana2, Sangyoung Han1, Kyungmin Kim1,b, and Alexander Fedorov3,4 Ji-Woong Yang et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA
  • 3Melinkov Permafrost Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Yakutsk, Russia
  • 4North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk, Russia
  • anow at: Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • bnow at: Division of Earth and Planetary Materials Science, Department of Earth Science, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

Abstract. Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) compositions in ground ice may provide information on their production mechanisms in permafrost. However, existing gas extraction methods has not been well tested. We test conventional wet and dry gas extraction methods using ice-wedges from Alaska and Siberia. We find that both methods extract gas from the easily extractable parts of the ice (e.g., gas bubbles), and yield similar results for CH4 and N2O mixing ratios. We also find insignificant effects of microbial activity during wet extraction. However, both techniques are unable to fully extract gas from the ice, presumably because gas molecules adsorbed onto or enclosed in soil aggregates are not easily extractable. Estimation of gas production in subfreezing environment of permafrost should consider the incomplete gas extraction.

Ji-Woong Yang et al.
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Short summary
Thawing permafrost may lead to decomposition of soil carbon and nitrogen and emission of greenhouse gases. Thus, methane and nitrous oxide compositions in ground ice may provide information on their production mechanisms in permafrost. We test conventional wet and dry extraction methods. We find that both methods extract gas from the easily extractable parts of the ice, and yield similar results for mixing ratios. However, both techniques are unable to fully extract gas from the ice.
Thawing permafrost may lead to decomposition of soil carbon and nitrogen and emission of...
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