Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1784
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1784
24 Jun 2024
 | 24 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Surface Observation Constrained High Frequency Coal Mine Methane Emissions in Shanxi China Reveal More Emissions than Inventories, Consistency with Satellite Inversion

Fan Lu, Kai Qin, Jason Blake Cohen, Qin He, Pravash Tiwari, Wei Hu, Chang Ye, Yanan Shan, Qing Xu, Shuo Wang, and Qiansi Tu

Abstract. This work focuses on Changzhi, Shanxi China, a city and surrounding rural region with one of the highest atmospheric concentrations of methane (CH4) world-wide (campaign-wide minimum/mean/standard deviation/max observations: 2.0, 2.9, 1.3, and 16 ppm) due to a rapid increase in the mining, production, and use of coal over the past decade. An intensive 15-day surface observation campaign of CH4 is used to drive a new analytical, mass-conserving method to compute and attribute CH4 emissions. Observations made in concentric circles at 1 km, 3 km, and 5 km around a high production high gas coal mine yielded emissions of 0.73, 0.28, and 0.15 ppm min-1 respectively. Attribution used a 2-box mass conserving model to identify the known mine’s emissions from 0.042–5.3 ppm min-1, and a previously unidentified mine’s emission from 0.22–7.9 ppm min-1. These results demonstrate the importance of simultaneously quantifying both the spatial and temporal distribution of CH4 to better control regional-scale CH4 emissions. Results of the attribution are used in tandem with observations of boundary layer height to quantify policy-relevant emissions from the two coal mines as 13670±7400 kg h-1 and 5070±2270 kg h-1 respectively. Both mines display a fat tail distribution, with respective 25th, median, and 75th percentile values of [870, 7500, 38700] kg h-1 and [431, 1590, 7000] kg h-1. These findings are demonstrated to be higher than CH4 emissions from equivalent oil and gas operations in the USA, with one about double and the other similar to day-to-day emissions inverted over 5-years using TROPOMI over the same region.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Fan Lu, Kai Qin, Jason Blake Cohen, Qin He, Pravash Tiwari, Wei Hu, Chang Ye, Yanan Shan, Qing Xu, Shuo Wang, and Qiansi Tu

Status: open (until 10 Aug 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-1784', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Jul 2024 reply
Fan Lu, Kai Qin, Jason Blake Cohen, Qin He, Pravash Tiwari, Wei Hu, Chang Ye, Yanan Shan, Qing Xu, Shuo Wang, and Qiansi Tu
Fan Lu, Kai Qin, Jason Blake Cohen, Qin He, Pravash Tiwari, Wei Hu, Chang Ye, Yanan Shan, Qing Xu, Shuo Wang, and Qiansi Tu

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Short summary
This work describes a field campaign and new fast emissions estimation approach to attribute methane from a large known and previously unknown coal mine in Shanxi China. The emissions computed are shown to be larger than known oil and gas sources, indicating that methane from coal mines may play a larger role in the global methane budget. The results are found to be slightly larger than or similar to satellite observational campaigns over the same region.