20 Dec 2023
 | 20 Dec 2023

A survey of methane point source emissions from coal mines in Shanxi province of China using AHSI on board Gaofen-5B

Zhonghua He, Ling Gao, Miao Liang, and Zhao-Cheng Zeng

Abstract. Satellite-based detection of methane (CH4) point sources is crucial in identifying and mitigating anthropogenic emissions of CH4, a potent greenhouse gas. Previous studies have indicated the presence of CH4 point source emissions from coal mines in Shanxi, China, an important source region with large CH4 emissions, but a comprehensive survey has remained elusive. This study aims to conduct a survey of CH4 point sources over Shanxi's coal mines based on observations of the Advanced HyperSpectral Imager (AHSI) on board the Gaofen-5B satellite (GF-5B/AHSI) between 2021 and 2023. The spectral shift in center wavelength and change in full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) are estimated for all spectra channels, which are used as inputs for retrieving the enhancement of column-averaged dry-air mole fraction of CH4 (ΔXCH4) using a matched-filter based algorithm. Our results show that the spectral calibration on GF-5B/AHSI reduced estimation biases of emission flux rate by up to 5.0 %. We applied the flood-fill algorithm to automatically extract emission plumes from ΔXCH4 maps. We adopted the integrated mass enhancement (IME) model to estimate the emission flux rate values from each CH4 point source. Consequently, we detected CH4 point sources in 32 coal mines with 93 plume events in Shanxi province. The estimated emission flux rate ranges from 857.67 ± 207.34 kg·h-1 to 14333.02 ± 5249.32 kg·h-1. The total emission flux rate reaches 13.26 t·h-1 in Shanxi, assuming all point sources emit simultaneously. Our results show that wind speed is the dominant source of uncertainty contributing about 84.84 % to the total uncertainty in emission flux rate estimation. Interestingly, we found a number of false positive detections due to solar panels that are widely spread in Shanxi. This study also evaluates the accuracy of wind fields in ECMWF ERA5 reanalysis by comparing with ground-based meteorological station. We found large discrepancy, especially in wind direction, suggesting incorporating local meteorological measurements into the study CH4 point source are important to achieve high accuracy. The study demonstrates that GF-5B/AHSI possesses capabilities for monitoring large CH4 point sources over complex surface characteristics in Shanxi.

Zhonghua He, Ling Gao, Miao Liang, and Zhao-Cheng Zeng

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3047', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Zhonghua He, 25 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3047', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Zhonghua He, 25 Feb 2024
Zhonghua He, Ling Gao, Miao Liang, and Zhao-Cheng Zeng
Zhonghua He, Ling Gao, Miao Liang, and Zhao-Cheng Zeng


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Short summary
Our research, utilizing Gaofen-5b satellite data, detected methane emissions from 32 coal mines and 93 plume events in Shanxi, China, showing significant variability among sources. Emission rates spanned from 857.67 to 14333.02 kg·h-1. This study highlights satellites' capacity to monitor specific methane origins, offering valuable support in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.