Using the tracer flux ratio method with flight measurements to estimate dairy farm CH 4 emissions in central California

Daube, Conner; Conley, Stephen; Faloona, Ian C.; Arndt, Claudia; Yacovitch, Tara I.; Roscioli, Joseph R.; Herndon, Scott C.

Tracer flux ratio methodology was applied to airborne measurements to quantify methane (inline-formulaCH4) emissions from two dairy farms in central California during the summer. An aircraft flew around the perimeter of each farm measuring downwind enhancements of inline-formulaCH4 and a tracer species released from the ground at a known rate. Estimates of inline-formulaCH4 emission rates from this analysis were determined for whole sites and major sources within a site (animal housing and liquid manure lagoons). Whole-site inline-formulaCH4 flux rates for each farm, Dairy 1 (inline-formula6108±821 kg inline-formulaCH4 dinline-formula−1, 95 % confidence interval) and Dairy 2 (inline-formula4018±456 kg inline-formulaCH4 dinline-formula−1, 95 % confidence interval), closely resembled findings by established methods: ground-based tracer flux ratio and mass balance. Individual source emission rates indicate a greater fraction of the whole-site emissions come from liquid manure management than animal housing activity, similar to bottom-up estimates. Despite differences in altitude, we observed that the tracer release method gave consistent results when using ground or air platforms.

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Daube, Conner / Conley, Stephen / Faloona, Ian C. / et al: Using the tracer flux ratio method with flight measurements to estimate dairy farm CH4 emissions in central California. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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