Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Research article
01 Feb 2024
Research article |  | 01 Feb 2024

Offshore methane detection and quantification from space using sun glint measurements with the GHGSat constellation

Jean-Philippe W. MacLean, Marianne Girard, Dylan Jervis, David Marshall, Jason McKeever, Antoine Ramier, Mathias Strupler, Ewan Tarrant, and David Young

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Cited articles

Ayasse, A. K., Thorpe, A. K., Cusworth, D. H., Kort, E. A., Negron, A. G., Heckler, J., Asner, G., and Duren, R. M.: Methane remote sensing and emission quantification of offshore shallow water oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, Environ. Res. Lett., 17, 084039,, 2022. a, b
Bréon, F. M.: An analytical model for the cloud-free atmosphere/ocean system reflectance, Remote Sens. Environ., 43, 179–192,, 1993. a
Bréon, F. M. and Henriot, N.: Spaceborne observations of ocean glint reflectance and modeling of wave slope distributions, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 111, C06005,, 2006.​​​​​​​ a, b, c
Capderou, M.: Handbook of Satellite Orbits: From Kepler to GPS, Springer International Publishing, Cham, ISBN 978-3-319-03415-7,, 2014. a
Cox, C. and Munk, W.: Measurement of the Roughness of the Sea Surface from Photographs of the Sun's Glitter, J. Opt. Soc. Am., 44, 838–850,, 1954. a, b
Short summary
We demonstrate the capabilities of the GHGSat satellite constellation to detect and quantify offshore methane emissions using a sun glint observation mode. Using this technique, we observe offshore methane emissions from space ranging from 180 kg h−1 to 84 000 kg h−1. We further assess the instrument performance in offshore environments, both empirically and using analytical modelling, and find that the detection limit varies with latitude and season.