Event Start
Event Time
3:30 p.m.
Atlantic Building Room 2400 & Zoom

AOSC Seminar by Dr. Laura Lapham, 4/28/2022

AOSC Seminar

Dr. Laura Lapham



Title: Methane biogeochemistry in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: From sea to mountains


This talk will focus on methane dynamics in three regions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed: the Chesapeake Bay mainstem; Rock Creek, a small tributary to the Patapsco River near Baltimore; and freshwater streams of Western Maryland. In all these systems, methane is formed from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in anoxic environments. I will present aqueous methane concentrations and stable isotope data and discuss the factors that ultimately control the fate of this methane. In the mainstem of the Chesapeake Bay, I’ll explore how changing oxygen levels in bottom waters, due to eutrophication, can affect the methane flux to the atmosphere. In Rock Creek, I will present data geared towards understanding how oxygen levels in the water can be used to regulate the methane flux to the atmosphere. And finally, I will discuss an inventory of methane in Western Maryland streams. The goal of this presentation is to introduce the idea that estuaries and rivers might play a larger role in the global methane budget than presently appreciated.



The Lapham research group seeks to enhance our understanding of methane emissions from aquatic environments. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and there is considerable variability in emissions from the natural environment. The causes for this variability could be physical, chemical, or biological. We use unique time-series sampling strategies to quantify the spatial and temporal variability in methane fluxes, coupled to stable- and radio-carbon isotopes investigations to tease apart the different sources of methane and their contribution to the global flux of methane from a water body to the atmosphere. We work in many environments like the Chesapeake Bay estuary, high altitude mountain streams, Arctic Freshwater lakes, permafrost and deep marine hydrocarbon seeps.


Contact: Russ Dickerson

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AOSC Seminar

Pre-seminar refreshment: N/A
Seminar: 3:30-4:30pm, Room: ATL 2400(only when in-person)
Meet-the-Speaker: 4:30-5:00pm, Room: ATL 3400(only when in-person) [For AOSC Students only]

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