Measuring Gases in Exploding Lakes

The Scenario

Dissolved gases, primarily CO2  and CH4, build up in volcanic African Rift lakes presenting a hazard to people living on the lake shores. A turnover of Lake Nyos in 1986 resulted in the asphyxiation of 1700 to 1800 people and many animals living along the shore.

The Challenge 

French scientists approached Pro-Oceanus Systems to request a GTD-Pro™ capable of measuring the high levels of supersaturation of gases in these so-called “exploding lakes”. While the Pro-Oceanus GTD-Pro™ is likely the most accurate and stable submersible dissolved gas sensor on the market, it was designed to measure total dissolved gases up to and in the vicinity of atmospheric pressure, not the high levels of supersaturation typical of the African Rift lakes.

The Solution

In response to this request, scientists and engineers at Pro-Oceanus developed a GTD-Pro™ that measures gas tensions as high as 5 atmospheres. As part of this development, a special retaining plate was fitted to the gas transfer interface to ensure that the pressure buildup at depth does not damage the interface when hydrostatic pressures are removed.


Pro-Oceanus scientists and engineers developed a special GTD-Pro™ suitable for making measurements in highly supersaturated African Rift lakes.