22 Jun 2020

22 Jun 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Mobile atmospheric measurements and local-scale inverse estimation of the location and rates of brief CH4 and CO2 releases from point sources

Pramod Kumar1, Grégoire Broquet1, Camille Yver-Kwok1, Olivier Laurent1, Susan Gichuki1, Christopher Caldow1, Ford Cropley1, Thomas Lauvaux1, Michel Ramonet1, Guillaume Berthe2, Frédéric Martin2, Olivier Duclaux3, Catherine Juery3, Caroline Bouchet4, and Philippe Ciais1 Pramod Kumar et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE/IPSL), CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 2IFP Energies nouvelles-Géoscience, 92852 Rueil-Malmaison Cedex, France
  • 3TOTALLaboratoire Qualité de l’Air (LQA),69360 Solaize Cedex, France
  • 4SUEZ-Smart & Environmental Solutions, Tour CB21/16 place de l’Iris, 92040, La Défense, France

Abstract. We present a local-scale atmospheric inversion framework to estimate the location and rate of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) releases from point sources. It relies on mobile near-ground atmospheric CH4 and CO2 mole fraction measurements across the corresponding atmospheric plumes downwind the sources, on high-frequency meteorological measurements, and a Gaussian plume dispersion model. It exploits the spread of the positions of individual plume cross-sections and the integrals of the gas mole fractions above the background within these plume cross-sections to infer the position and rate of the releases. It has been developed and applied to provide estimates of brief controlled CH4 and CO2 point source releases during a one-week campaign in October 2018 at the TOTAL's experimental platform TADI in Lacq, France. These releases lasted typically 4 to 8 minutes and covered a wide range of rates (0.3 to 200 gCH4/s and 0.2 to 150 gCO2/s) to test the capability of atmospheric monitoring systems to react fast to emergency situations in industrial facilities. It also allowed testing their capability to provide precise emission estimates for the application of climate change mitigation strategies. However, the low and highly varying wind conditions during the releases added difficulties to the challenge of characterizing the atmospheric transport over the very short duration of the releases. We present our series of measurements of CH4 and CO2 mole fractions using instruments onboard a car that drives along the roads ~50 to 150 m downwind the 40 m × 60 m area of controlled releases for each of the releases and the results from the inversions of the release locations and rates. The comparisons of these results to the actual position and rate of the controlled release indicate a 20 %–30 % average error on the release rates and a ~30–40 m errors in the estimates of the release locations. These results are shown to be promising especially since better results could be expected for longer releases and under meteorological conditions more favorable to local scale dispersion modeling.

Pramod Kumar et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment

Pramod Kumar et al.

Pramod Kumar et al.


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Short summary
This study presents a simple atmospheric inversion modeling framework for the localization and quantification of unknown CH4 and CO2 emissions from point sources based on near-surface mobile concentration measurements and a Gaussian plume dispersion model. It is applied for the estimate of a series of brief controlled releases of CH4 and CO2 with a wide range of rates during the TOTAL's TADI-2018 experiment. Results indicate a 20–30 % average error on the estimate of the release rates.