Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
Research article
07 Feb 2018
Research article |  | 07 Feb 2018

Airborne remote sensing and in situ measurements of atmospheric CO2 to quantify point source emissions

Thomas Krings, Bruno Neininger, Konstantin Gerilowski, Sven Krautwurst, Michael Buchwitz, John P. Burrows, Carsten Lindemann, Thomas Ruhtz, Dirk Schüttemeyer, and Heinrich Bovensmann

Abstract. Reliable techniques to infer greenhouse gas emission rates from localised sources require accurate measurement and inversion approaches. In this study airborne remote sensing observations of CO2 by the MAMAP instrument and airborne in situ measurements are used to infer emission estimates of carbon dioxide released from a cluster of coal-fired power plants. The study area is complex due to sources being located in close proximity and overlapping associated carbon dioxide plumes. For the analysis of in situ data, a mass balance approach is described and applied, whereas for the remote sensing observations an inverse Gaussian plume model is used in addition to a mass balance technique. A comparison between methods shows that results for all methods agree within 10 % or better with uncertainties of 10 to 30 % for cases in which in situ measurements were made for the complete vertical plume extent. The computed emissions for individual power plants are in agreement with results derived from emission factors and energy production data for the time of the overflight.