Reducing errors in aircraft atmospheric inversion estimates of point-source emissions: the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak as a natural tracer experiment
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.
 
 
Help
Clear All
i


Reducing errors in aircraft atmospheric inversion estimates of point-source emissions: the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak as a natural tracer experiment

Filetype[PDF-3.84 MB]



Details:

  • Description:
    Urban greenhouse gas (GHG) flux estimation with atmospheric measurements and modeling, i.e. the ‘top-down’ approach, can potentially support GHG emission reduction policies by assessing trends in surface fluxes and detecting anomalies from bottom-up inventories. Aircraft-collected GHG observations also have the potential to help quantify point-source emissions that may not be adequately sampled by fixed surface tower-based atmospheric observing systems. Here, we estimate CH4 emissions from a known point source, the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak in Los Angeles, CA from October 2015–February 2016, using atmospheric inverse models with airborne CH4 observations from twelve flights ≈4 km downwind of the leak and surface sensitivities from a mesoscale atmospheric transport model. This leak event has been well-quantified previously using various methods by the California Air Resources Board, thereby providing high confidence in the mass-balance leak rate estimates of (Conley et al 2016), used here for comparison to inversion results. Inversions with an optimal setup are shown to provide estimates of the leak magnitude, on average, within a third of the mass balance values, with remaining errors in estimated leak rates predominantly explained by modeled wind speed errors of up to 10 m s−1, quantified by comparing airborne meteorological observations with modeled values along the flight track. An inversion setup using scaled observational wind speed errors in the model-data mismatch covariance matrix is shown to significantly reduce the influence of transport model errors on spatial patterns and estimated leak rates from the inversions. In sum, this study takes advantage of a natural tracer release experiment (i.e. the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak) to identify effective approaches for reducing the influence of transport model error on atmospheric inversions of point-source emissions, while suggesting future potential for integrating surface tower and aircraft atmospheric GHG observations in top-down urban emission monitoring systems.
  • Source:
    Environmental Research Letters, 13(4), 045003.
  • Document Type:
  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

  • No Additional Files

More +

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at repository.library.noaa.gov

Version 3.16