EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Visualizing anthropogenic methane plumes from the California Methane Survey

Andrew Thorpe1, Riley Duren2, Robert Tapella1, Brian Bue1, Kelsey Foster3, Vineet Yadav1, Talha Rafiq4, Francesca Hopkins4, Kevin Gill1, Joshua Rodriguez1, Aaron Plave1, Daniel Cusworth1, and Charles Miller1
Andrew Thorpe et al.
  • 1Jet Propulstion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, United States of America (
  • 2University of Arizona, United States of America
  • 3Stanford University, United States of America
  • 4University of California Riverside, United States of America

The 2016-2018 California Methane Survey used the airborne imaging spectrometer AVIRIS-NG to survey approximately 59,000 km2 and 272,000 individual facilities and infrastructure components. Over 500 strong methane point sources spanning the waste management, agriculture, and energy sectors were detected, geolocated, and quantified. In order to facilitate communication of results with scientists, stakeholder agencies in California, private sector companies, and the public, we developed the Methane Source Finder web-based data portal. This state of the art Earth science data visualization tool allows users to discover, analyze, and download data across a range of spatial scales derived from remote-sensing, surface monitoring, and bottom-up infrastructure information. In this presentation, we will highlight our overall science findings from the California Methane Survey and provide a number of examples where observed methane plumes were used to directly guide leak detection and repair efforts. Future plans include expanding the data portal beyond California and incorporating regional scale flux inversions derived from satellite observations. Methane Source Finder supports methane research (e.g., multi-scale synthesis), enables facility-scale mitigation, and improves public awareness of greenhouse gas emissions.

How to cite: Thorpe, A., Duren, R., Tapella, R., Bue, B., Foster, K., Yadav, V., Rafiq, T., Hopkins, F., Gill, K., Rodriguez, J., Plave, A., Cusworth, D., and Miller, C.: Visualizing anthropogenic methane plumes from the California Methane Survey, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9945,, 2020.


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