GHG Aqua provides a network of fixed, intensively instrumented 'sentinel sites' with eddy covariance flux towers to measure GHGs (see UKLFN for details) plus mobile capability to monitor other 'distributed sites' using floating sensors and telemetry for remote data acquisition. Sentinel sites cover a range of waterbody types (eg lakes, reservoirs, ponds) and environmental gradients (eg land-use intensity and trophic status, upland and lowland). Measurement capability may vary between sites to include: high frequency CO2 and CH4 fluxes; dissolved CO2 and CH4; plus water quality factors such as pH, water temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, total algae, dissolved organic matter and water depth.
GHG-Aqua was established from 2022, when the first sentinel sites began operating at Loch Leven in Perthshire (Britain’s largest shallow lowland lake) and Esthwaite Water in Cumbria. Two further sentinel sites will be established in 2023: one at a reservoir in North Wales and one in the Norfolk Broads.
GHG-Aqua is unique for its wide coverage of UK inland waters and for its measurement capabilities.
GHG-Aqua data will be freely available via the UKCEH Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC). Access protocols for field sites will planned in 2022: an advisory group of project partners will provide advice and practical support; initial enquiries to Chris Evans at UKCEH Bangor.
GHG Aqua is coordinated by UKCEH Bangor and Edinburgh stations. It operates fixed and mobile sampling sites across freshwater bodies in the UK.
The establishment of GHG Aqua was funded by a UKRI-BBSRC Capital Grant. After an initial setting up phase that uses some funding from UKCEH Institutional Funding (UKRI-NERC), the operating costs will be paid by user projects.
GHG Aqua users include UKCEH scientists, university partners and supporting organisations (eg BEIS, water authorities).
29 November 2022 14:11