Statistical evaluation of methane isotopic signatures determined during near-source measurements
Abstract. Stable carbon isotopic signatures of methane emissions are broadly used for methane source identification, apportionment, and global-scale modelling of methane sources and sinks. Thus, accurate and precise isotopic measurements of methane are crucial for methane studies from the local to global scale. To answer the need for robust and verified measurement methods, we aim at defining the best practice to determine isotopic signatures of methane sources, considering accessibility, practicality, costs, accuracy, and precision. Using Keeling and Miller-Tans methods, we verify the impact of linear fitting methods, averaging approaches, and, for Miller-Tans method, differently defined backgrounds. Verification is carried out for measurement sets using Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry and Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS). The use of AirCore for sampling, with subsequent measurements by CRDS, is also examined. Different analytical strategies introduce bias in determining isotopic signatures of methane sources, and the crucial role of rejection criteria is demonstrated. Overall, the most robust results are obtained for non-averaged data using fitting methods, which include uncertainties on x- and y-axis values.
Status: final response (author comments only)
Dataset: Statistical evaluation of methane isotopic signatures determined during near-source measurements https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/vfbbdvp9w2/1
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