Title: The net carbon footprint of a newly created boreal hydroelectric reservoir
Authors: Teodoru, Cristian R. ×
Bastien, Julie
Bonneville, Marie-Claude
del Giorgio, Paul A.
Demarty, Maud
Garneau, Michelle
Hélie, Hélie Jean-Francois
Pelletier, Luc
Prairie, Yves T.
Roulet, Nigel T.
Strachan, Ian B.
Tremblay, Alain #
Issue Date: 17-May-2012
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Series Title: Global Biogeochemical Cycles vol:26
Article number: GB2012
Abstract: We present here the first comprehensive assessment of the carbon (C) footprint associated with the creation of a boreal hydroelectric reservoir (Eastmain-1 in northern Québec, Canada). This is the result of a large-scale, interdisciplinary study that spanned over a 7-years period (2003–2009), where we quantified the major C gas (CO2 and CH4)sources and sinks of the terrestrial and aquatic components of the pre-flood landscape, and also for the reservoir following the impoundment in 2006. The pre-flood landscape was roughly neutral in terms of C, and the balance between pre- and post-flood C sources/sinks indicates that the reservoir was initially (first year post-flood in 2006) a large net source of CO2 (2270 mg C m-2 d-1) but a much smaller source of CH4 (0.2 mg C m-2 d-1). While net CO2 emissions declined steeply in subsequent years (down to 835 mg C m-2 d-1 in 2009), net CH4 emissions remained constant or increased slightly relative to pre-flood emissions. Our results also suggest that the reservoir will continue to emit carbon gas over the long-term at rates exceeding the carbon footprint of the pre-flood landscape, although the sources of C supporting these emissions have yet to be determined. Extrapolation of these empirical trends over the projected life span (100 years) of the reservoir yields integrated long-term net C emissions per energy generation well below the range of the natural-gas combined-cycle, which is considered the current industry standard.
ISSN: 0886-6236
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division Soil and Water Management
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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