Airborne Methane Mass Balance Emissions in Colorado (AMMBEC)

Where: Colorado Front Range

When: 1-14 July 2024

NOAA Twin Otter study area map
Study area in northeast Colorado.

The NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) and Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) plan to conduct airborne and mobile field measurements aboard the NOAA Twin Otter and Air Resources Car (ARC) mobile lab to quantify methane and other relevant emissions from the Denver-Julesburg Basin (DJB) and Denver metro area. AMMBEC occurs in direct coordination with the Utah Summer Ozone Study (USOS) 2024. AMMBEC research flights and drives will occur after aircraft integration, before the transit to Utah.

NOAA CSL will deploy the airborne Micro-pulse Doppler lidar (MicroDop) which provides vertically resolved wind profiles and boundary layer height along a flight track. Combined with in situ measurements of methane, carbon monoxide and ethane, the instrument package will provide a more accurate measurement of emissions via the mass balance approach compared to traditional methods using in-situ winds alone.

The research aircraft and mobile lab will also be equipped with instruments measuring ozone and nitrogen oxides (ozone precursors). Measurements of spatial distribution of these species, along with meteorological data will also enable better understanding of factors that lead to high ozone in the Colorado Front Range.

NOAA CSL will also operate a stationary Doppler lidar from the David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder during this period to provide continuous wind and turbulence information.