Riddick, S.N., Connors, S., Robinson, A.D., Manning, A.J., Jones, P.S.D., Lowry, D., Nisbet, E., Skelton, R.L., Allen, G., Pitt, J., Harris, N.R.P. (2017):
Estimating the size of a methane emission point source at different scales: from local to landscape

Atmos. Chem. Phys. 17, 7839–7851. doi:10.5194/acp-17-7839-2017


High methane (CH4) mixing ratios (up to 4 ppm) have occurred sporadically at our measurement site in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, since July 2012. Isotopic measurements and back trajectories show that the source is the Waterbeach Waste Management Park 7 km SE of Haddenham. To investigate this further, measurements were made on 30 June and 1 July 2015 at other locations nearer to the source. Landfill emissions have been estimated using three different approaches at different scales; near source using the WindTrax inversion dispersion model, middle distance using a Gaussian plume (GP) model and at the landscape scale using the Numerical Atmospheric Modelling Environment (NAME) Inversion Technique for Emission Modelling (InTEM) inversion. The emission estimates derived using the WindTrax and Gaussian plume (GP) approaches agree well for the period of intense observations. Applying the Gaussian plume approach to all periods of elevated measurements seen at Haddenham produces year-round and monthly landfill emission estimates with an estimated annual emission of 11.6 Gg CH4 yr−1. The monthly emission estimates are highest in winter (2160 kg h−1 in February) and lowest in summer (620 kg h−1 in July). These data identify the effects of environmental conditions on landfill CH4 production and highlight the importance of year-round measurements to capture seasonal variability in CH4 emission.

Full Text: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Open access, CC-BY 3.0)

Received: 28 Oct 2016 – Discussion started: 22 Nov 2016
Revised: 10 Apr 2017 – Accepted: 12 Apr 2017 – Published: 29 Jun 2017