PTR-MS Measurements of Oil and Gas Related VOCs in the Denver-Julesburg Basin as Part of NASA’s DISCOVER-AQ Campaign

Monday, 15 December 2014
Hannah Halliday1, Armin Wisthaler2, Tomas Mikoviny2, Markus Müller3, Philipp Eichler3 and Anne M Thompson4, (1)Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States, (2)University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, (3)University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria, (4)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured with a Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometer (PTR-MS) in July and August of 2014 at NOAA's Platteville Atmospheric Observatory in the Denver-Julesburg Basin. On selected days, continuous ground-based measurements were complemented by airborne PTR-MS measurements from the NASA P-3B aircraft to obtain the vertical profile of VOCs over the sampling site. The data were used to characterize the composition and variability of oil- and gas-related VOCs at the collection site, and analysis with accompanying meteorological and chemical measurements was conducted to assess the impact of oil and gas activities on local air quality. The site was located in close proximity to multiple facilities for extraction, storage, transportation, processing and distribution of oil and gas. A natural gas well constructed in close proximity to the site during the study period was used as a case study for identifying VOC emissions from an active drilling platform.