The methane flux along topographical gradients on a glacier foreland in the high Arctic, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

Minaco Adachi, Toshiyuki Ohtsuka, Takayuki Nakatsubo, Hiroshi Koizumi

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In order to examine the relationship between the methane (CH4) flux and soil factors and vegetation in High Arctic tundra, we investigated the CH4 flux along topographical gradients on a glacier foreland in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79°N, 12°E). The CH4 flux rates varied widely among sites even within the same vegetation type, ranging from positive (emission) to negative (absorption) values. High CH4 emission rates were detected on ridges and in sites with a low soil water content, but there was no significant relationship between CH4 flux rates and soil factors including soil moisture, pH, soil carbon and nitrogen content. Mean values of CH4 emission and CH4 absorption were 0.30±0.33 mg m-2 h-1 (n=12) and 0.11±0.06 mg m-2 h-1 (n=11), respectively. These findings suggest that the study area is a small source of CH4 with a mean flux of 0.11 mg CH4 m-2 h-1 (0.083 mg C m-2 h-1). It was concluded that carbon flux derived from CH4 accounts for an extremely small proportion of the total carbon flux from soil in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalPolar Bioscience
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec
Externally publishedYes



  • Carbon cycle
  • High Arctic
  • Methane (CH) flux
  • Soil factors
  • Vegetation type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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