MethaneSat: Detecting Methane Emissions From the Barnett Shale Region
Propp, Adrienne Margaret
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CitationPropp, Adrienne Margaret. 2017. MethaneSat: Detecting Methane Emissions From the Barnett Shale Region. Bachelor's thesis, Harvard College.
AbstractEfforts to mitigate anthropogenic methane emissions, particularly in light of the recent boom in unconventional oil and gas, will increasingly depend on our ability to measure, monitor, and report emissions at high resolution and precision. There is currently no tool available that is capable of measuring methane emissions from oil and gas provinces with the required properties. MethaneSat, a proposed satellite, is a potential solution. It will operate with extremely high spatial resolution (1x1 km or 2x2 km) and precision (0.1-0.2% random error).
In this study, we perform observation system simulation experiments (OSSEs) for the Barnet Shale region of Texas to demonstrate the new information that will be provided by MethaneSat. For comparison, we perform OSSEs for MethaneSat, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra- tion (NOAA) surface and aircraft network, and Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT). We focus on assessing the observing systems’ abilities to retrieve total emissions in the Barnett Shale, their spatial distribution, and their sharp peaks, and how this depends on uncertainty in the prior estimate and in the observations.
The results unambiguously show that MethaneSat is better able to con- strain all three aspects of methane emissions than both the NOAA network and GOSAT, likely due to the high sampling density. Importantly, high uncertainty in the prior estimate does not greatly detract from these capabilities for MethaneSat as it does for the other observing systems. These results indicate that MethaneSat would be a superior tool for constraining methane emissions in oil and gas production regions where other tools are unavailable, or where we have insufficient prior information.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:38986912
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