Matching Items (2)

128318-Thumbnail Image.png

Assessment of uncertainties of an aircraft-based mass balance approach for quantifying urban greenhouse gas emissions

Description

Urban environments are the primary contributors to global anthropogenic carbon emissions. Because much of the growth in CO[subscript 2] emissions will originate from cities, there is a need to develop,

Urban environments are the primary contributors to global anthropogenic carbon emissions. Because much of the growth in CO[subscript 2] emissions will originate from cities, there is a need to develop, assess, and improve measurement and modeling strategies for quantifying and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from large urban centers. In this study the uncertainties in an aircraft-based mass balance approach for quantifying carbon dioxide and methane emissions from an urban environment, focusing on Indianapolis, IN, USA, are described. The relatively level terrain of Indianapolis facilitated the application of mean wind fields in the mass balance approach. We investigate the uncertainties in our aircraft-based mass balance approach by (1) assessing the sensitivity of the measured flux to important measurement and analysis parameters including wind speed, background CO[subscript 2] and CH[subscript 4], boundary layer depth, and interpolation technique, and (2) determining the flux at two or more downwind distances from a point or area source (with relatively large source strengths such as solid waste facilities and a power generating station) in rapid succession, assuming that the emission flux is constant. When we quantify the precision in the approach by comparing the estimated emissions derived from measurements at two or more downwind distances from an area or point source, we find that the minimum and maximum repeatability were 12 and 52%, with an average of 31%. We suggest that improvements in the experimental design can be achieved by careful determination of the background concentration, monitoring the evolution of the boundary layer through the measurement period, and increasing the number of downwind horizontal transect measurements at multiple altitudes within the boundary layer.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-09-02

128023-Thumbnail Image.png

Quantification of urban atmospheric boundary layer greenhouse gas dry mole fraction enhancements in the dormant season: Results from the Indianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX)

Description

We assess the detectability of city emissions via a tower-based greenhouse gas (GHG) network, as part of the Indianapolis Flux (INFLUX) experiment. By examining afternoon-averaged results from a network of

We assess the detectability of city emissions via a tower-based greenhouse gas (GHG) network, as part of the Indianapolis Flux (INFLUX) experiment. By examining afternoon-averaged results from a network of carbon dioxide (CO[subscript 2]), methane (CH[subscript 4]), and carbon monoxide (CO) mole fraction measurements in Indianapolis, Indiana for 2011–2013, we quantify spatial and temporal patterns in urban atmospheric GHG dry mole fractions. The platform for these measurements is twelve communications towers spread across the metropolitan region, ranging in height from 39 to 136 m above ground level, and instrumented with cavity ring-down spectrometers. Nine of the sites were deployed as of January 2013 and data from these sites are the focus of this paper. A background site, chosen such that it is on the predominantly upwind side of the city, is utilized to quantify enhancements caused by urban emissions. Afternoon averaged mole fractions are studied because this is the time of day during which the height of the boundary layer is most steady in time and the area that influences the tower measurements is likely to be largest. Additionally, atmospheric transport models have better performance in simulating the daytime convective boundary layer compared to the nighttime boundary layer. Averaged from January through April of 2013, the mean urban dormant-season enhancements range from 0.3 ppm CO[subscript 2] at the site 24 km typically downwind of the edge of the city (Site 09) to 1.4 ppm at the site at the downwind edge of the city (Site 02) to 2.9 ppm at the downtown site (Site 03). When the wind is aligned such that the sites are downwind of the urban area, the enhancements are increased, to 1.6 ppm at Site 09, and 3.3 ppm at Site 02. Differences in sampling height affect the reported urban enhancement by up to 50%, but the overall spatial pattern remains similar. The time interval over which the afternoon data are averaged alters the calculated urban enhancement by an average of 0.4 ppm. The CO[subscript 2] observations are compared to CO[subscript 2] mole fractions simulated using a mesoscale atmospheric model and an emissions inventory for Indianapolis. The observed and modeled CO[subscript 2] enhancements are highly correlated (r[superscript 2] = 0.94), but the modeled enhancements prior to inversion average 53% of those measured at the towers. Following the inversion, the enhancements follow the observations closely, as expected. The CH[subscript 4] urban enhancement ranges from 5 ppb at the site 10 km predominantly downwind of the city (Site 13) to 21 ppb at the site near the landfill (Site 10), and for CO ranges from 6 ppb at the site 24 km downwind of the edge of the city (Site 09) to 29 ppb at the downtown site (Site 03). Overall, these observations show that a dense network of urban GHG measurements yield a detectable urban signal, well-suited as input to an urban inversion system given appropriate attention to sampling time, sampling altitude and quantification of background conditions.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-06-13