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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(8), 9529-9541; doi:10.3390/rs70809529

Quantifying Gas Flaring CH4 Consumption Using VIIRS

1
Department of Earth System Science and Policy, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
2
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, MN 56563, USA
3
Department of Civil Engineering, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
4
Energy & Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 10 June 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 27 July 2015
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Abstract

A method was developed to estimate the consumption of CH4 and the release of CO2 by gas flaring using VIIRS nighttime data. The results agreed with the field data collected at six stations in Bakken field, North Dakota, USA, within ±50%, as measured by mean relative errors and with a correlation coefficient of 0.75. This improved over the NOAA NightFire estimates, likely due to: (1) more stringent data selection using only the middle portion of cloud-free VIIRS nighttime imagery; (2) the use of a lower heating rate, which is more suitable for the field condition; and (3) more accurate efficiency factors in calculating completeness in combustion and conversion of total reaction energy into radiant energy that can be sensed by a satellite sensor. While using atmospherically-corrected data can further improve the estimate of CH4 consumption by ~10%, the major uncertainty remains as being the form factor of the flares, particularly the ratio of total surface area of a flare to the cross-section area that was seen by a satellite sensor. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; flares; methane remote sensing; flares; methane
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, X.; Scheving, B.; Shoghli, B.; Zygarlicke, C.; Wocken, C. Quantifying Gas Flaring CH4 Consumption Using VIIRS. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 9529-9541.

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