10 Aug 2023
 | 10 Aug 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Detection and long-term quantification of methane emissions from an active landfill

Pramod Kumar, Christopher Caldow, Grégoire Broquet, Adil Shah, Olivier Laurent, Camille Yver-Kwok, Sebastien Ars, Sara Defratyka, Susan Gichuki, Luc Lienhardt, Mathis Lozano, Jean-Daniel Paris, Felix Vogel, Caroline Bouchet, Elisa Allegrini, Robert Kelly, Catherine Juery, and Philippe Ciais

Abstract. Landfills are a significant source of fugitive methane (CH4) emissions which should be precisely and regularly monitored to reduce and mitigate net greenhouse gas emissions. In this study, we present long-term in-situ near-surface mobile atmospheric CH4 mole fraction measurements (complemented by meteorological measurements from a fixed station) from 21 campaigns that cover approximately four years from September 2016 to December 2020. These campaigns were utilized to regularly quantify the total CH4 emissions from an active landfill in France. We use a simple atmospheric inversion approach based on a Gaussian plume dispersion model to derive CH4 emissions. Together with the measurements near the soil surface mainly dedicated to the identification of sources within the landfill, measurements of CH4 made on the landfill perimeter (near-field) helped us to provide some qualitative insights about the respective weight of the main areas of emissions. However, we hardly managed to extract a signal representative of the overall landfill emissions from these measurements, which limited our ability to derive robust estimates of the emissions when assimilating them in the atmospheric inversions. The analysis shows that the inversions based on the measurements from a remote road further away from the landfill (far-field) yielded more reliable estimates. According to these estimates, the total CH4 emissions have a large temporal variability and range from ~0.4 t CH4/d to ~7 t CH4/d, with an average value of ~2.1 t CH4/d. We find a weak negative correlation between these estimates of the CH4 emissions and atmospheric pressure for the active landfill. However, this weak emission-pressure relationship is based on a relatively small sample of reliable emission estimates with large sampling gaps. More frequent robust estimations are required to better understand this relationship for an active landfill.

Pramod Kumar et al.

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Pramod Kumar et al.

Pramod Kumar et al.


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Short summary
This study presents a series of mobile measurement campaigns to monitor the CH4 emissions from an active landfill. These measurements are processed using a Gaussian plume model and atmospheric inversion techniques to quantify the landfill CH4 emissions. The methane emission estimates range between ~0.4 and ~7 t CH4/d and their variations are analyzed. The robustness of the estimates is assessed depending on the distance of the measurements from the potential sources in the landfill.