Reservoirs' net greenhouse gas emissions research projet
   

Net GHG emissions at the Eastmain-1 reservoir

The net greenhouse gas emissionS (GHG) project aims at determining emissions which are emitted by the EM-1 reservoir in comparison to those that would have been emitted by natural ecosystems. This project is co financed by Hydro-Québec Production and the CanadiaEdition plen Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences ( CFCAS).

It is a world premiere, indeed it is the first time that GHG emissions are measured before and after the creation of a reservoir .  This large scale study regroups experts from various disciplines, from private company, governmental agencies and universities.

This project is divided in 5 aspects:

Aquatic systems aspects

The main objective of this aspect of the project is to quantifiy CO 2 and CH 4 fluxes as well as to quantify the amount of carbon in EM-1 reservoir in comparison to those of natural lakes or rivers of the EM-1 area. Nine reference lakes will be monitored over the duration of the study. Many environmental parameters are monitored and studied, such as planktonic primary production, bacterial respiration, inputs of carbon from the drainage basin, etc.  and will allow the estimation of a global mass balance of carbon from aquatic ecosystems.

Terrestrial systems aspects

The main objective of this aspect of the project is to quantify CO 2 and CH 4 fluxes as well as to quantify the amount of carbon in a natural forest in comparison to the flooded ecosystem.  Many environmental parameters are monitored and studied, such as the influence of forest fire, GHG emissions, the role of peat land, the different forest plant stocking, etc. and will allow the estimation of a global mass balance of carbon from terrestrial ecosystems.

Stable isotopes aspects

The main objective of this aspect of the project, with the use of stable isotopes, is to determine the origin of the organic matter present in the reservoir.  Indeed, stables isotopes are precise and powerful tools that can determined if the organic matter comes  from terrestrial ecosystems or if it is biologically produced in the lake.

Eddy correlation aspects

The main objective of this aspect of the project is to measure at high frequency CO 2 fluxes using Eddy correlation towers. In order to do this, 2 Eddy correlation towers are in operation since August 2006.  One of the tower is located  in the forest ecosystem (Ian's tower) to estimate the footprint and variability of the natural forest ecosystem. The other tower is located on a small island of the reservoir (Marie-Eve's Island) in order to estimate the footprint and variability of the EM-1 reservoir.

Modelisation aspects

The main objective of this aspect of the project is to develop a model predicting GHG emissions from either natural ecosystems or the EM-1 reservoir over a period of 100 years. All the data sets collected in the previous aspects will be integrated and optimized to simulate natural ecosystems (forest, lakes, rivers) as well as  EM-1 reservoir fluxes in order to estimate net GHG emissions from a reservoir.

 

reservoir opinaca

Eastmain-1 power house is located  at about 800 km north of the city of Montréal and it is equipped with three turbines generating 160 MWh each for a total of 480 MWh.  The main dam along with 33 dikes are forming the Eastmain-1 reservoir with a surface area of de 603 km2.  The impoundment have started in November 2005 and 7 months were necessary to fill it up.