Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Joe Jeffers


This study was undertaken in order to determine the nature of and the factors that influence the gaseous ebullitions of De Gray Reservoir near Arkadelphia, Arkansas during a yearly cycle.

Two major types of gaseous ebullition are described in the literature. The first has to do with the production and ebullition of elemental oxygen from photosynthesis (Porcella et al., 1975). Hutchinson (1957) predicts that the formation of oxygen bubbles in this manner is limited to very shallow, well lighted, warm waters.

The second type of gaseous ebullition involves the anaerobic digestion of organic matter (Reeburgh, 1969). Anaerobic conditions exist in the hypolimnion during summer stratification and usually in sediments, even when they are covered by well aerated waters (Porcella et al., 1975). The silt-absorbed organic matter undergoes anaerobic breakdown to form fatty acids, which are then converted mainly to methane (Kuznetsov, 1968). Also produced are ethylene, ethane, carbon dioxide, nitrous dioxide, propane, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons (Smith et al., 1969). Although ethylene is produced in quantities second only to methane, it is quite soluble in water, and it is apparently a better substrate for bacteria than is methane (Porcella et al., 1975). Hydrogen sulfide is also produced, but it is often precipitated as iron sulfide in anaerobic waters (Reeburgh, 1969).



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