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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 3833-3850, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-3833-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
19 Oct 2017
Airborne DOAS retrievals of methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor concentrations at high spatial resolution: application to AVIRIS-NG
Andrew K. Thorpe1, Christian Frankenberg2,1, David R. Thompson1, Riley M. Duren1, Andrew D. Aubrey1, Brian D. Bue1, Robert O. Green1, Konstantin Gerilowski3, Thomas Krings3, Jakob Borchardt3, Eric A. Kort4, Colm Sweeney5, Stephen Conley6,7, Dar A. Roberts8, and Philip E. Dennison9 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
2Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
3Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
4Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
5Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
6Global Monitoring Division, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
7Scientific Aviation, 3335 Airport Road, Boulder, Colorado, USA
8Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
9Department of Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Abstract. At local scales, emissions of methane and carbon dioxide are highly uncertain. Localized sources of both trace gases can create strong local gradients in its columnar abundance, which can be discerned using absorption spectroscopy at high spatial resolution. In a previous study, more than 250 methane plumes were observed in the San Juan Basin near Four Corners during April 2015 using the next-generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-NG) and a linearized matched filter. For the first time, we apply the iterative maximum a posteriori differential optical absorption spectroscopy (IMAP-DOAS) method to AVIRIS-NG data and generate gas concentration maps for methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor plumes. This demonstrates a comprehensive greenhouse gas monitoring capability that targets methane and carbon dioxide, the two dominant anthropogenic climate-forcing agents. Water vapor results indicate the ability of these retrievals to distinguish between methane and water vapor despite spectral interference in the shortwave infrared. We focus on selected cases from anthropogenic and natural sources, including emissions from mine ventilation shafts, a gas processing plant, tank, pipeline leak, and natural seep. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions were mapped from the flue-gas stacks of two coal-fired power plants and a water vapor plume was observed from the combined sources of cooling towers and cooling ponds. Observed plumes were consistent with known and suspected emission sources verified by the true color AVIRIS-NG scenes and higher-resolution Google Earth imagery. Real-time detection and geolocation of methane plumes by AVIRIS-NG provided unambiguous identification of individual emission source locations and communication to a ground team for rapid follow-up. This permitted verification of a number of methane emission sources using a thermal camera, including a tank and buried natural gas pipeline.

Citation: Thorpe, A. K., Frankenberg, C., Thompson, D. R., Duren, R. M., Aubrey, A. D., Bue, B. D., Green, R. O., Gerilowski, K., Krings, T., Borchardt, J., Kort, E. A., Sweeney, C., Conley, S., Roberts, D. A., and Dennison, P. E.: Airborne DOAS retrievals of methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor concentrations at high spatial resolution: application to AVIRIS-NG, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 3833-3850, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-3833-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
At local scales emissions of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are highly uncertain. The AVIRIS-NG imaging spectrometer maps large regions and generates high-spatial-resolution CH4 and CO2 concentration maps from anthropogenic and natural sources. Examples include CH4 from a processing plant, tank, pipeline leak, seep, mine vent shafts, and CO2 from power plants. This demonstrates a greenhouse gas monitoring capability that targets the two dominant anthropogenic climate-forcing agents.
At local scales emissions of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are highly uncertain. The...
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