Science Serving Maryland's Coasts
Tom Fisher, Ph.D.
Horn Point Laboratory
Diurnal Variations in N2O Gas Fluxes from Agricultural Fields
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas and a stratospheric ozone depletor produced by denitrification and nitrification. Agriculture is an important source of N2O. For my project, I looked at changes in N2O fluxes over the course of the day to evaluate whether time of day matters to sampling. Static soil chambers were used to measure the fluxes. Low positive and negative fluxes were measured during a 10 hour sampling in a corn field, but fluxes were only significantly above or below zero for 50 percent of the measured fluxes. In a longer 24 hour sampling N2O fluxes were below detection for the entire 24 hour period. I was unable to determine if a diurnal flux cycle existed because fluxes were typically undetectable. The low to non-existent fluxes are likely due to extremely low soil moisture and high soil temperatures.
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