USGS - science for a changing world
View of autochambers along a boardwalkAutochambers arranged along a boardwalk within an intermediated aged bog.

Our autochamber (AC) systems are currently deployed for continuous monitoring of CO2 and CH4 flux from our study areas within a forested peat plateau underlain by permafrost and a collapse scar bog formed following permafrost thaw. Each AC system consists of four components:

  • a ‘brain’ box,
  • eight clear plastic chambers,
  • ‘slacklines’, which contain tubing and wiring connecting each chamber to the brain box, and
  • a system for supplying compressed air to the chamber pneumatic cylinders.
The brain box, originally developed by Greg Winston at UC Irvine, houses the pump(s) cycling air to and from each chamber, the solenoid valves controlling flux measurements for each chamber, the AC/DC controller for the chamber pneumatics, the LI‐830 infrared gas analyzer and the CR1000 data logger. In addition, we have plumbed a one‐way connection to the brain box to accommodate a Picarro G1112‐i isotopic methane analyzer. The chamber design originated in Ted Schuur’s laboratory, and consists of a 60 cm x 60 cm x 50 cm (L x W x H) box constructed of UV‐resistant Makrolon, which is seated on a 60 cm x 60 cm x 25 cm base of polyethylene sheeting. Each base is cut into the soil to a depth of ~5 cm. Chambers are not designed to be completely airtight to minimize pressure differentials that can affect chamber flux measurements. Additional instruction is available by contacting Mark Waldrop at the US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, USA.

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