Measurement data is used for climate modelling
Besides the visible parts of the mire, the conditions in the atmosphere and ground water are also being studied.
Fluxes of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane are measured using the Eddy Covariance (EC) method which measures the carbon flux and water molecules in the atmospheric boundary layer.
“Eddy Covariance is the most reliable and accurate method for studying the carbon cycle of large areas, i.e., those over one hectare in size. The EC station operates automatically and requires little maintenance. The amount of data obtained is vast, and their storage, processing, analysis and visualisation takes time,” Oksanen says.
The measuring devices are placed in a specific location on the mire according to wind direction, and so far, they have worked well without any remarkable interruptions.
“Liang Chen, a doctoral researcher at our department, has obtained very good data from the measuring devices. Once the data have been analysed, we’ll see whether the mire acts as a sink or as a source of carbon, and how the situation changes over the course of the summer,” Oksanen says.
The data obtained from the measuring devices are stored in a common EU database and used for modelling.
Ylpässuo’s water quality, on the other hand, is studied by researchers from the University of Oulu using pipes installed on the mire. Led by Professor Tiina Leiviskä, the Chemical Process Engineering research group investigates water quality, nutrients, conductivity, pH, temperature, dissolved organic matter and dissolved gases.
Measurements at Ylpässuo have been completed for the year, and only maintenance is currently ongoing at the site. In March, the solar panels are expected to start producing electricity again, and another season of research can begin.