37th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics



Gas Transfer At Water Surfaces





The focus of the 37th Liège Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics is gas transfer at water surfaces with oral and poster presentations of recent advancements in this field. Discussions will identify the most critical conceptual and experimental improvements for future.

In the context of the present and future global climatic change, robust constraints of the exchange of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, DMS, CO, ...) between the atmosphere and aquatic ecosystems are needed. Gas transfer depends on the gas air-water gradient and the gas transfer velocity. The air-water gradient is generated by physical, chemical and biological processes acting from daily to climatic time-scales. The gas transfer velocity depends on numerous complex processes, the major one being turbulence in surface water and/or air. Wind stress at the interface is the main turbulence generator but at low wind speeds, the air-water gas transfer is further modulated by presence of surfactants, convective cooling, chemical enhancement and water currents. At high wind speeds, waves, bubbles and spray also strongly contribute to air-water gas transfer.

Topics of relevance to the Colloquium include:

  • Laboratory and/or field measurements of air-water transfer of gas, heat, vapour and particles using various approaches (mass balance of natural, anthropogenic or deliberate tracers and micro-meteorological methods).
  • Theoretical and/or experimental studies of the various aspects of air-water transfer: turbulence, surfactants, spray, bubbles, chemical enhancement and chemical gradients in the surface micro-layer.
  • Parameterization of the gas transfer velocity based on modelling, remote sensing or experimental approaches.
  • Recent technical improvements in measurements of the air-water gas gradients.
  • Physical and biogeochemical processes controlling air-water gas gradients at different temporal and spatial scales, with particular emphasis on climatic feedbacks.
  • Budgets of gas transfer (CO2, CH4, N2O, DMS, CO ...) at regional and global scale (including open oceanic, coastal and fresh water realms).


History of the International Symposia on Gas Transfer At Water Surfaces

The First International Symposium on Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces was held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, 13-15 June, 1983. Dr. W. Brutsaert and Dr. G. H. Jirka were organizers of this successful symposium that attracted approximately 150 participants. The second conference, the Second International Symposium on Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces was held in Minneapolis, 11-14 September, 1990. It was organized by Dr. J. S Gulliver and Dr. J. P. Holland. The third conference, aptly named the "Third International Symposium on Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces", was held in Heidelberg, Germany 24-27 July, 1995. The organizing committee was comprised Drs. Jähne, Monahan, Munnich, Asher, and Wanninkhof. The fourth conference was held in Miami in June 2000 with nearly 200 attendees. The conference committee led by Prof. Mark Donelan and included Dr. Will Drennan, Dr. Eric Saltzman, and Dr. Rik Wanninkhof.
In the first conference the parameterization of gas transfer with wind and friction velocity was highlighted along with the relative behavior of gases ("the Schmidt number dependency"). The second conference addressed visualization techniques at the near surface and aeration processes other than wind. The third conference proceedings highlighted the influence of bubbles, and initial work on remote sensing of gas fluxes and related parameters. The fourth conference highlighted the successful application of micrometeorological techniques for air-sea CO2 exchange and results from the large ONR sponsored campaign FAIRS and the NOAA sponsored GAS EX 98 study. Based on developments in the last five years we expect a continued emphasis on remote sensing and global synthesis of gas fluxes of a variety of gases in the upcoming symposium. A particular focus will be gas dynamics in coastal, riverine and estuarine waters.



  • Anderson L.G. - G.U. - Sweden
  • Andreae M.O. - M.P.I.C. - Germany
  • Bakker D. - U.E.A. - United Kingdom
  • Bellerby R. - B.C.C.R. - Norway
  • Boutin J. - L.O.D.Y.C. - France
  • Borges A.V. - ULg - Belgium
  • Cai W-J. - U.G.A. - U.S.A.
  • DeGrandpre M. - U.M. - U.S.A.
  • Donard O. - L.C.B.I.E. - France
  • Donelan M.A. - U.M. - U.S.A.
  • Frankignoulle M. - ULg - Belgium
  • Friederich G. - M.B.A.R.I. - U.S.A.
  • Heinze C. - B.C.C.R. - Norway
  • Hoppema M. - A.W.I. - Germany
  • Lancelot C. - U.L.B. - Belgium
  • Larsen S. - RISØ - Denmark
  • Liss P. - U.E.A. - United Kingdom
  • Metzl N. - I.P.S.L. - France
  • Mintrop L. - MARIANDA - Germany
  • Nihoul J. - ULg - Belgium
  • Pacyna J. - N.I.A.R. - Norway
  • Prairie Y. - U.Q.M. - Canada
  • Raymond P. - Y.U. - U.S.A.
  • Schneider B. - I.O.W. - Germany
  • Thomas H. - N.I.O.Z. - Netherlands
  • Tsunogai S. - H.U. - Japan
  • Upstill-Goddard R. - U.N.T. - United Kingdom
  • Wanninkhof R. - A.O.M.L. - U.S.A.
  • Woolf D. - S.O.C. - U.K.



The members of the Organizing Committee wish to express their gratitude to:

for their valuable assistance in organizing the Colloquium.




 Last modified 20/12/2005