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Harvard Forest Data Archive

HF305

Red Wood-Ant Nests and Fault-Related Methane Micro-Seepage

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Data

Overview

  • Lead: Gabriele Berberich, Aaron Ellison, Christian Wöhler
  • Investigators: Martin Berberich, Arne Grumpe, Adrian Becker
  • Contact: Aaron Ellison
  • Start date: 2016
  • End date: 2016
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Western Germany
  • Latitude: +50.33976
  • Longitude: +7.43955
  • Elevation: 318 meter
  • Taxa: Formica rufa (red wood ant), Formica polyctena (red wood ant)
  • Release date: 2018
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.305.1
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: international research projects
  • LTER core area: primary production, populations
  • Keywords: ants, biogeochemistry, gas flux, isotopes, methane
  • Abstract:

    We measured methane (CH4) and stable carbon isotope of methane (ẟ13C-CH4) concentrations in ambient air and within a red wood-ant (RWA; Formica polyctena) nest in the Neuwied Basin (Germany) using high-resolution in-situ sampling to detect microbial, thermogenic, and abiotic fault-related micro-seepage of CH4. Methane degassing from RWA nests was not synchronized with earth tides, nor was it influenced by micro-earthquake degassing or concomitantly measured RWA activity. Two ẟ13C-CH4 signatures were identified in nest gas: −69‰ and −37‰. The lower peak was attributed to microbial decomposition of organic matter within the RWA nest, in line with previous observations that RWA nests are hot-spots of microbial CH4. The higher peak has not been reported in previous studies. We attribute this peak to fault-related CH4 emissions moving via fault networks into the RWA nest, which could originate either from thermogenic or abiotic CH4 formation. Sources of these micro-seepages could be Devonian schists, iron-bearing “Klerf Schichten,” or overlapping micro-seepage of magmatic CH4 from the Eifel plume. Given the abundance of RWA nests on the landscape, their role as sources of microbial CH4 and biological indicators for abiotically-derived CH4 should be included in estimation of methane emissions that are contributing to climatic change.

  • Methods:

    For details of methods, please see: Berberich, G.M., Ellison, A.M., Berberich, M.B., Grumpe, A., Becker, A., Wöhler, C. 2018. Can a Red Wood-Ant Nest Be Associated with Fault-Related CH4 Micro-Seepage? A Case Study from Continuous Short-Term In-Situ Sampling. Animals 2018, 8, 46; doi:10.3390/ani8040046.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Berberich G, Ellison A, Wöhler C. 2018. Red Wood-Ant Nests and Fault-Related Methane Micro-Seepage. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF305.

Detailed Metadata

hf305-01: RWA activity

  1. datetime: date and time
  2. datetime.matlab: date and time in Matlab format (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  3. med.filt: median filtered RWA activity data, relative values calculated from results of image processing, data frame every 5 mins; there is some data loss for 4.8. (NA) (unit: number / missing value: NA)

hf305-02: CH4 in atmosphere, 15 minute measurement

  1. datetime: date and time
  2. ch4: CH4 concentration in atmosphere (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  3. ich4.raw: delta 13C of CH4 in atmosphere near of nest original raw data during measurement period of 15 min generated by Picarro (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  4. std.ch4: standard deviation for CH4 (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  5. std.ich4: standard deviation for delta 13C of CH4 (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)

hf305-03: CH4 in atmosphere, 4 hour measurement

  1. datetime: date and time
  2. ch4: CH4 concentration in atmosphere (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  3. hp.delta.ich4.raw: delta 13C of CH4 in ant nest original raw data generated by Picarro system (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  4. hp.delta.ich4.5min: delta 13C of CH4 in ant nest automatically averaged to 5 min data by Picarro system (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)

hf305-04: CH4 concentration in nest

  1. datetime: date and time
  2. ch4: CH4 concentration in ant nest (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  3. hp.delta.ich4.5min: delta 13C of CH4 in ant nest automatically averaged to 5 min data by Picarro system (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  4. hp.delta.ich4.raw: delta 13C of CH4 in ant nest original raw data generated by Picarro system (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)

hf305-05: earthquakes

  1. datetime: date and time
  2. datetime.matlab: date and time in Matlab format (UTC) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  3. location: earthquake location
  4. ml: magnitude (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  5. depth: depth (unit: kilometer / missing value: NA)
  6. x: x-coordinate in GK (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  7. y: y coordinate in GK (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)

hf305-06: earthtides

  1. datetime: date and time
  2. second: interval data (unit: second / missing value: NA)
  3. datetime.matlab: date and time in Matlab format (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  4. north: north component (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  5. east: east component (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  6. up: up component (unit: meter / missing value: NA)

hf305-07: local weather

  1. datetime: date and time
  2. datetime.matlab: date and time in Matlab format (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  3. abspress.hpa: absolute pressure (unit: hectopascal / missing value: NA)
  4. outtemp.c: outdoor temperature (unit: celsius / missing value: NA)
  5. dewpoint.c: dew point (unit: celsius / missing value: NA)
  6. outdoorhumidity: outdoor humidity (%) (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  7. hourrainfall.mm: hourly rainfall (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)
  8. gust.kmh: wind gust (unit: kilometersPerHour / missing value: NA)
  9. windchill.c: wind chill (unit: celsius / missing value: NA)
  10. winddirection: wind direction
  11. windspeed.kmh: wind speed (unit: kilometersPerHour / missing value: NA)
  12. interval.min: measurement interval (minute) (unit: number / missing value: NA)