Articles | Volume 8, issue 9
Research article
16 Sep 2015
Research article |  | 16 Sep 2015

Determining air pollutant emission rates based on mass balance using airborne measurement data over the Alberta oil sands operations

M. Gordon, S.-M. Li, R. Staebler, A. Darlington, K. Hayden, J. O'Brien, and M. Wolde

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Cited articles

Alfieri, S., Amato, U., Carfora, M. F., Esposito, M., and Magliulo, V.: Quantifying trace gas emissions from composite landscapes: a mass-budget approach with aircraft measurements, Atmospheric Environment, 44, 1866–1876, 2010.
Cambaliza, M. O. L., Shepson, P. B., Caulton, D. R., Stirm, B., Samarov, D., Gurney, K. R., Turnbull, J., Davis, K. J., Possolo, A., Karion, A., Sweeney, C., Moser, B., Hendricks, A., Lauvaux, T., Mays, K., Whetstone, J., Huang, J., Razlivanov, I., Miles, N. L., and Richardson, S. J.: Assessment of uncertainties of an aircraft-based mass balance approach for quantifying urban greenhouse gas emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 9029–9050,, 2014.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd: Canadian Natural 2012 Stewardship Report to Stakeholders, available at:, last access: 4 May 2015.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd: Operations: Horizon Oil Sands: available at:, last access: 4 May 2015.
Garratt, J. R.: The Atmospheric Boundary Layer, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 52–56, 1994.
Short summary
Aircraft-based measurements of air pollutants from sources in the Canadian oil sands were made during a summer intensive field campaign in 2013. This paper describes the top-down emission rate retrieval algorithm (TERRA) to determine facility emissions of pollutants, using SO2 and CH4 as examples. Uncertainty of the emission rates estimated with TERRA is estimated as less than 30%, which is primarily due to the unknown SO2 and CH4 mixing ratios near the surface below the lowest flight level.