Gas exchange-wind speed relation measured with sulfur hexafluoride on a lake. Academic Article uri icon


  • Gas-exchange processes control the uptake and release of various gases in natural systems such as oceans, rivers, and lakes. Not much is known about the effect of wind speed on gas exchange in such systems. In the experiment described here, sulfur hexafluoride was dissolved in lake water, and the rate of escape of the gas with wind speed (at wind speeds up to 6 meters per second) was determined over a 1-month period. A sharp change in the wind speed dependence of the gas-exchange coefficient was found at wind speeds of about 2.4 meters per second, in agreement with the results of wind-tunnel studies. However, the gas-exchange coefficients at wind speeds above 3 meters per second were smaller than those observed in wind tunnels and are in agreement with earlier lake and ocean results.

publication date

  • March 8, 1985