Using remote sensing to detect, validate, and quantify methane emissions from California solid waste operations
AuthorCusworth, Daniel H
Duren, Riley M
Thorpe, Andrew K
Foster, Kelsey T
Miller, Charles E
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationCusworth, D. H., Duren, R. M., Thorpe, A. K., Tseng, E., Thompson, D., Guha, A., ... & Miller, C. E. (2020). Using remote sensing to detect, validate, and quantify methane emissions from California solid waste operations. Environmental Research Letters, 15(5), 054012.
JournalENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS
Rights© 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
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AbstractSolid waste management represents one of the largest anthropogenic methane emission sources. However, precise quantification of landfill and composting emissions remains difficult due to variety of site-specific factors that contribute to landfill gas generation and effective capture. Remote sensing is an avenue to quantify process-level emissions from waste management facilities. The California Methane Survey flew the Next Generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-NG) over 270 landfills and 166 organic waste facilities repeatedly during 2016-2018 to quantify their contribution to the statewide methane budget. We use representative methane retrievals from this campaign to present three specific findings where remote sensing enabled better landfill and composting methane monitoring: (1) Quantification of strong point source emissions from the active face landfills that are difficult to capture by in situ monitoring or landfill models, (2) emissions that result from changes in landfill infrastructure (design, construction, and operations), and (3) unexpected large emissions from two organic waste management methods (composting and digesting) that were originally intended to help mitigate solid waste emissions. Our results show that remotely-sensed emission estimates reveal processes that are difficult to capture in biogas generation models. Furthermore, we find that airborne remote sensing provides an effective avenue to study the temporally changing dynamics of landfills. This capability will be further improved with future spaceborne imaging spectrometers set to launch in the 2020s.
NoteOpen access article
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsCalifornia Air Resources Board
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.