Articles | Volume 14, issue 2
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 945–959, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-945-2021
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 945–959, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-945-2021

Research article 08 Feb 2021

Research article | 08 Feb 2021

Quantifying fugitive gas emissions from an oil sands tailings pond with open-path Fourier transform infrared measurements

Yuan You et al.

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Cited articles

Akagi, S. K., Yokelson, R. J., Burling, I. R., Meinardi, S., Simpson, I., Blake, D. R., McMeeking, G. R., Sullivan, A., Lee, T., Kreidenweis, S., Urbanski, S., Reardon, J., Griffith, D. W. T., Johnson, T. J., and Weise, D. R.: Measurements of reactive trace gases and variable O3 formation rates in some South Carolina biomass burning plumes, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 1141–1165, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-13-1141-2013, 2013. 
Akagi, S. K., Burling, I. R., Mendoza, A., Johnson, T. J., Cameron, M., Griffith, D. W. T., Paton-Walsh, C., Weise, D. R., Reardon, J., and Yokelson, R. J.: Field measurements of trace gases emitted by prescribed fires in southeastern US pine forests using an open-path FTIR system, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 199–215, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-14-199-2014, 2014. 
Alberta Environment and Parks: Total Area of the Oil Sands Tailings Ponds over Time, available at: http://osip.alberta.ca/library/Dataset/Details/542 (last access: 22 September 2019), 2016. 
Allen, E. W.: Process water treatment in Canada's oil sands industry: I. Target pollutants and treatment objectives, J. Environ. Eng. Sci., 7, 123–138, https://doi.org/10.1139/S07-038, 2008. 
Bai, M., Suter, H., Lam, S. K., Sun, J., and Chen, D.: Use of open-path FTIR and inverse dispersion technique to quantify gaseous nitrogen loss from an intensive vegetable production site, Atmos. Environ., 94, 687–691, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2014.06.013, 2014. 
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Short summary
Tailings ponds in the Alberta oil sands represent an insufficiently characterized source of fugitive emissions of pollutants to the atmosphere. In this study, a novel approach of using a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer along with measurements of atmospheric turbulence is shown to present a practical, non-intrusive method of quantifying emission rates for ammonia, alkanes, and methane. Results from a 1-month field study are presented and discussed.