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

Quantifying Methane Emissions from Super-emitter Coal Mines using TROPOMI Observations

Pankaj Sadavarte1,2, Sudhanshu Pandey1, Joannes D. Maasakkers1, Alba Lorente1, Tobias Borsdorff1, Hugo Denier van der Gon2, Sander Houweling2,3, and Ilse Aben1
Pankaj Sadavarte et al.
  • 1SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, 3584 CA, Utrecht, The Netherlands (
  • 2Department of Climate, Air and Sustainability, TNO, 3584 CB, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1081 HV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In the context of the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 2.6 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have framed greenhouse gas emission scenarios emphasizing a sharp reduction in methane (CH4) emissions with the current increasing trend. Recent studies have shown that satellite observations of atmospheric methane can be used to detect and quantify localized methane sources on a facility-level for the oil and gas industry. We use satellite observations from TROPOMI to understand the high and persistent methane signals from ventilation shafts in the coal mining industry.  Even the bottom-up and top-down global estimates infer coal mine methane responsible for ~12% of the anthropogenic methane emissions. TROPOMI onboard Sentinel-5P has a ground pixel resolution of 5 × 7 km2 at nadir, which allows detection of large local to point sources. With its daily global coverage, we identify high methane emission sources over coal mine regions in Australia during 2018 and 2019 and quantify methane emissions using the fast data-driven cross-sectional flux method. Our initial results show that TROPOMI estimates are higher than bottom-up global emission inventories. We will present emission estimates using satellite-based quantification for super-emitter coal mines and evaluate its implication on national greenhouse gas reporting.

How to cite: Sadavarte, P., Pandey, S., Maasakkers, J. D., Lorente, A., Borsdorff, T., Denier van der Gon, H., Houweling, S., and Aben, I.: Quantifying Methane Emissions from Super-emitter Coal Mines using TROPOMI Observations, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15693,, 2021.

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