Estimating the size of a methane emission point-source at different scales: from local to landscape

Stuart Riddick, S Connors, Andrew Robinson, Alastair Manning, Pippa Jones, David Lowry, Euan Nisbet, Robert L Skelton, Grant Allen, Joseph Pitt, Neil Harris

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    High methane (CH4) mixing ratios (up to 4 ppm) have occurred sporadically at our measurement site in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire since July 2012. Isotopic measurements and back trajectories show that the source is the Waterbeach Waste management park 7 km SE of Haddenham. To investigate this further, measurements were made on June 30th and July 1st 2015 at other locations nearer to the source. Landfill emissions have been estimated using three different approaches (WindTrax, Gaussian plume, and NAME InTEM inversion) applied to the measurements made close to source and at Haddenham. The emission estimates derived using the WindTrax and Gaussian plume approaches agree well for the period of intense observations. Applying the Gaussian plume approach to all periods of elevated measurements seen at Haddenham produces year-round and monthly landfill emission estimates. The estimated annual emissions vary between 11.6 and 13.7 Gg CH4 yr−1. The monthly emission estimates are highest in winter (2160 kg hr−1 in February) and lowest in summer (620 kg hr−1 in July). These data identify the effects of environmental conditions on landfill CH4 production and highlight the importance of year-round measurement to capture seasonal variability in CH4 emission. We suggest the landscape inverse modelling approach described in this paper is in good agreement with more labour-intensive near-source approaches and can be used to identify point-sources within an emission landscape to provide high-quality emission estimates.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016


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