Aliso Canyon Gas Leak
The Aliso Canyon Gas Leak (aka Porter Ranch Gas Leak) was discovered in October of 2015. The leak released an estimated 97,000 tons of methane and 7,300 tons of ethane into the atmosphere. The carbon footprint of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak is said to be larger of that than the Deep Water Horizon incident. California residents around the site of the leak experienced a wide variety of illnesses in response to the leak.
Scientific Aviation was contracted to collect point source measurements of the leak directly above the suspected breached well, as well as provide reports and professional environmental feedback on the source of the leak. This project is on-going as the Scientific Aviation team continues periodic monitoring of emissions from the Aliso Canyon site.
- Conley, S., Franco, G., Faloona, I., Blake, D. R., Peischl, J., Ryerson, T. B. (2016). Methane emissions from the 2015 Aliso Canyon blowout in Los Angeles, CA. Science, 351 (6279), 1317-1320. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf2348.
The Barnett Shale
During recent years, inland hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) technology has increased in efficiency, thus resulting in an increase of land-based fracking in the Barnett Shale and other regions.
Flying with our Picarro and Aerodyne analyzers, we were able to measure methane and ethane in the atmosphere above the Barnett region. We collaborated with project scientists from NOAA, University of Michigan, and EDF to understand how much methane was emitted, as well as the sources of the emissions.
- Smith, M. L., Kort, E. A., Karion, A., Sweeney, C., Herndon, S. C., Yacovitch, T. I. (2015). Airborne ethane observations in the Barnett shale: Quantification of ethane flux and attribution of methane emissions. Environmental Science & Technology, 49 (13), 8158–8166, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00219.
NOAA Four Corners Methane Study
Scientific Aviation was contracted by NOAA to study the anomalies associated with the four corners methane plume. SciAv worked as a team with 3 NOAA Twin Otter research aircraft, as well as scientists from University of Michigan and NOAA.
- Smith, M. L., Gvakharia, A., Kort, E. A., Sweeney, C., Conley, S., Faloona, I., Newberger, T., Schnell, R., Schwietzke, S., Wolter. S. (2017). Airborne quantification of methane emissions over the Four Corners region. Environmental Science & Technology, 51 (10), 5832–5837. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b06107.