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Local-to-regional methane emissions from the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) quantified using UAV-based atmospheric measurements

Andersen, Truls and Zhao, Zhao and de Vries, Marcel and Necki, Jaroslaw and Swolkien, Justyna and Menoud, Malika and Röckmann, Thomas and Roiger, Anke and Fix, Andreas and Peters, Wouter and Chen, Huilin (2023) Local-to-regional methane emissions from the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) quantified using UAV-based atmospheric measurements. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP), 23 (9), pp. 5191-5216. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/acp-23-5191-2023. ISSN 1680-7316.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-5191-2023


Coal mining accounts for ∼12 % of the total anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions worldwide. The Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), Poland, where large quantities of CH4 are emitted to the atmosphere via ventilation shafts of underground hard coal (anthracite) mines, is one of the hot spots of methane emissions in Europe. However, coal bed CH4 emissions into the atmosphere are poorly characterized. As part of the carbon dioxide and CH4 mission 1.0 (CoMet 1.0) that took place in May–June 2018, we flew a recently developed active AirCore system aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to obtain CH4 and CO2 mole fractions 150–300 m downwind of five individual ventilation shafts in the USCB. In addition, we also measured δ13C-CH4, δ2H-CH4, ambient temperature, pressure, relative humidity, surface wind speed, and surface wind direction. We used 34 UAV flights and two different approaches (inverse Gaussian approach and mass balance approach) to quantify the emissions from individual shafts. The quantified emissions were compared to both annual and hourly inventory data and were used to derive the estimates of CH4 emissions in the USCB. We found a high correlation (R2=0.7–0.9) between the quantified and hourly inventory data-based shaft-averaged CH4 emissions, which in principle would allow regional estimates of CH4 emissions to be derived by upscaling individual hourly inventory data of all shafts. Currently, such inventory data is available only for the five shafts we quantified. As an alternative, we have developed three upscaling approaches, i.e., by scaling the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) annual inventory, the quantified shaft-averaged emission rate, and the shaft-averaged emission rate, which are derived from the hourly emission inventory. These estimates are in the range of 256–383 kt CH4 yr−1 for the inverse Gaussian (IG) approach and 228–339 kt CH4 yr−1 for the mass balance (MB) approach. We have also estimated the total CO2 emissions from coal mining ventilation shafts based on the observed ratio of and found that the estimated regional CO2 emissions are not a major source of CO2 in the USCB. This study shows that the UAV-based active AirCore system can be a useful tool to quantify local to regional point source methane emissions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/200038/
Document Type:Article
Title:Local-to-regional methane emissions from the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) quantified using UAV-based atmospheric measurements
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Andersen, TrulsUniversity of Groningen, Groningen, NLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Zhao, ZhaoNanjing University, Nanjing, ChinaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
de Vries, MarcelUniversity of Groningen, Groningen, NLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Necki, JaroslawAGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, PolandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Swolkien, JustynaAGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Polandhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4332-9415UNSPECIFIED
Menoud, MalikaUtrecht University, Utrecht,https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7061-2684UNSPECIFIED
Röckmann, ThomasUtrecht University, Utrecht, NLhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6688-8968UNSPECIFIED
Fix, AndreasDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2818-9290UNSPECIFIED
Peters, WouterUniversity of Wageningen, Wageningen, NLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chen, HuilinNanjing University, Nanjing, Chinahttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1573-6673UNSPECIFIED
Date:8 May 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 5191-5216
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:Methane emissions, coal mining, UAV measurements
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Atmospheric and climate research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Roiger, Anke-Elisabeth
Deposited On:29 Nov 2023 15:24
Last Modified:29 Nov 2023 15:24

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