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Methane Isotope Workshop

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Earth Sciences hosts the MEMO2 Project Methane Isotope Workshop

  • Date14 September 2018

12 PhD students from the Marie Curie H20:20 training network on Methane goes Mobile: Measurement and MOdelling (MEMO2) attend a 3-day workshop on Methane Isotopes hosted by the Greenhouse Gas Research Group

Air inlet Duster

The carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures of methane emissions provide valuable information for understanding how strengths of sources and sinks change over time from the diurnal to seasonal to decadal scale, and how they vary spatially from region to region. Traditional high precision measurements by isotope ratio mass spectrometry at labs such as RHUL and University of Utrecht, are often now accompanied by lower precision but mobile measurements using laser technology. The students working on the MEMO2 project are using mobile measurements of methane plumes downwind of sources to estimate emissions. Many sources can be identified directly in the field, but others need additional proxies such as ethane to identify gas leaks, or isotopes by sample collection and subsequent analysis to distinguish a wide range of sources.

The students and guest trainers from USA, Holland, UK and our own greenhouse gas research group will discuss a range of topics to better understand how isotopes can be used in source identification, to validate emissions inventories and model long-term global trends. This will start with understanding how to measure isotopes of methane and correct the data, how to calculate signatures for individual sources from downwind plume data, and how to use isotope data to model inventories and long-term global trends. The workshop will include sampling of methane sources in and around RHUL and analysis of these samples in the greenhouse gas laboratory.

This is one of a series of training workshops and annual meetings of the MEMO2 project that the students will attend, culminating in submission of their theses by the project end in March 2021.

See project website at:


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