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Research Project: PRACTICES TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY AND CONSERVE SOIL AND WATER RESOURCES IN AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL SYSTEMS IN THE NORTH CENTRAL US

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Quantification and source apportionment of the methane emission flux from the city of Indianapolis

Author
item Cambaliza, Maria O.l. - Purdue University
item Shepson, Paul - Purdue University
item Bogner, Jean - University Of Illinois
item Caulton, Dana - Purdue University
item Stirm, Robert - Purdue University
item Sweeney, Colm - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item Montzka, Stephen - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item Turnbull, Jocelyn - Gns Science
item Spokas, Kurt
item Salmon, Olivia - Purdue University
item Lavoie, Tegan - Purdue University
item Hendricks, Arthur - Purdue University
item Mays, Kelly - Purdue University
item Turnbull, Jocelyn - Gns Science
item Miller, Brittney - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item Lauvanux, Thomas - Pennsylvania State University
item Davis, Kenneth - Pennsylvania State University
item Karion, Aron - University Of Colorado
item Moser, Brittany - Purdue University
item Miller, Craig - Purdue University
item Obermeyer, C - Purdue University
item Whetstone, James - National Institute Of Standards & Technology (NIST)
item Prasad, Kuldeep - Pennsylvania State University
item Miles, Natasha - Pennsylvania State University
item Richardson, Scott - Pennsylvania State University

Submitted to: Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2014
Publication Date: 1/7/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60274
Citation: Cambaliza, M., Shepson, P.B., Bogner, J., Caulton, D.R., Stirm, R., Sweeney, C., Montzka, S.A., Turnbull, J., Spokas, K.A., Salmon, O.E., Lavoie, T.N., Hendricks, A., Mays, K., Turnbull, J., Miller, B.R., Lauvanux, T., Davis, K., Karion, A., Moser, B., Miller, C., Obermeyer, C., Whetstone, J., Prasad, K.R., Miles, N., Richardson, S. 2015. Quantification and source apportionment of the methane emission flux from the city of Indianapolis. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 3:000037. DOI: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000037.

Interpretive Summary: This article details the recent measurements of methane emissions for the city of Indianapolis, IN, which is part of the Indianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX). The flux of methane for the city was estimated using an aircraft-based measurement approach. From these measurements, we find that the average CH4 emission rate in 2011 is 135 moles s-1, equivalent to a per capita emission of 5800 moles CH4 person-1 year-1. On a per capita basis, the Indianapolis CH4 emission is comparable to the national anthropogenic CH4 emission, but a factor of ~2 larger than the global figure. There were high concentrations of methane observed on the southwest side of the side, which is the location for a landfill and a natural gas transmission regulating station (TRS). Surface measurements were used to quantify the relative contributions from the two sources. We find that the emission from the TRS was negligible relative to the landfill, which was responsible for 37% of the citywide emission flux. These results are significant to farmers and policy makers and will assist scientists and engineers in developing improved models for predicting net greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft based measurements. These large area assessments could be vital to document improved soil carbon management.

Technical Abstract: We report the CH4 emission flux from the city of Indianapolis, IN, the site of the Indianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX) project for developing, assessing, and improving top-down and bottom-up approaches for quantifying urban greenhouse gas emissions. Using an aircraft-based mass balance approach, we find that the average CH4 emission rate from five flight experiments in 2011 is 135 moles s-1, equivalent to a per capita emission of 5800 moles CH4 person-1 year-1. On a per capita basis, the Indianapolis CH4 emission is comparable to the national anthropogenic CH4 emission but a factor of ~2 larger than the global figure. We consistently observed elevated CH4 concentrations at specific coordinates along our flight transects downwind of the city. Inflight investigations as well as back trajectories using measured wind directions showed that the elevated concentrations originated from the southwest side of the city where a landfill and a natural gas transmission regulating station (TRS) are located. Surface mobile measurements supported the results of aircraft-based data, and were used to quantify the relative contributions from the two sources. We find that the emission from the TRS was negligible relative to the landfill, which was responsible for 37% of the citywide emission flux. To evaluate our measurements of the landfill CH4 fraction, we measured the emission rate of four other landfills, and compared the results to the California Landfill Methane Inventory Model. A regression of propane versus methane from aircraft flask samples suggests that much of the remaining citywide emissions derive from the natural gas distribution system. We discuss the combination of surface mobile observations and aircraft city-wide flux measurements to determine the total flux and apportionment to important sources. Finally, we suggest methods for the identification and quantification of the emission strengths of the sources contributing to the remaining ~63% of the citywide emissions.