Inland Waters, Vol 6, No 3 (2016)

Downstream emissions of CH4 and CO2 from hydroelectric reservoirs (Tucuruí, Samuel, and Curuá-Una) in the Amazon basin

Alexandre Kemenes, Bruce Rider Forsberg, John Michael Melack
Pages: 295-302


Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)generated in reservoirs are released downstream of dams, and few studies have considered these downstream emissions. Fluxes downstream of 3 Amazon hydroelectric reservoirs (Tucuruí, Samuel, and Curuá-Una) are reported here. Degassing through turbines was calculated as the difference between intake and outflow concentrations. Additional releases along the Tocantins, Jamari, and Curuá rivers were measured at downstream sites over a distance of 30 km. About 50% of the CH4 and 30% of the CO2 emitted downstream of the dam were liberated at the turbine outflow. The total downstream emissions are sufficiently large to require consideration in assessments of greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric reservoirs.
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