SCOAPE (SATELLITE COASTAL AND OCEANIC ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION EXPERIMENT) CRUISE, MAY 2019: GULF OF MEXICO AIR QUALITY NEAR OIL AND NATURAL GAS OPERATIONS

Anne M Thompson1, Debra E Kollonige2, Ryan M Stauffer3, Lok N Lamsal4, Nickolay Anatoly Krotkov5, Holli Ensz6, Guillermo Auad7, Nader Abuhassan5, Alexander Kotsakis8 and Robert Swap9, (1)University of Maryland Baltimore County at NASA/GSFC, Baltimore, United States, (2)Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, College PARK, United States, (3)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, United States, (4)NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr., Greenbelt, MD, United States, (5)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (6)Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (formally Minerals Management Service), Sterling, VA, United States, (7)U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Sterling, VA, United States, (8)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, VA, United States, (9)NASA Goddard Space Flight Cente, Greenbelt, United States
Abstract:
NASA/Goddard has an Interagency Agreement with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to assess the feasibility of using satellites to measure Air Quality (AQ) over the US continental shelf and adjacent coast. BOEM needs to determine whether an anticipated increase in offshore oil and natural gas activity over the next several years will lead to deterioration of onshore AQ. One of NASA’s deliverables to BOEM was SCOAPE in May 2019, an experiment to collect trace gas measurements (O3, NO2, CH4, CO2, VOC, CO) and satellite (OMI, TROPOMI) NO2 data, with validating surface-based column NO2 observations from the Pandora spectrometer. SCOAPE consisted of data-taking with NO2 instrumentation (Pandora, Teledyne API analyzer) at Cocodrie, LA, along with a suite of AQ sensors on the Research Vessel Point Sur over the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) off the LA and MS coasts (cruise track in Figure). Air was sampled in the vicinity of isolated oil platforms and among numerous operations closer to shore. Preliminary findings are: (1) general AQ over the area of deepwater operations, which were influenced by tropical air masses early in the cruise (10-14 May 2019), was better than closer to shore which was influenced by flow from urban areas (15-17 May). This was consistent with satellite views of NO2. (2) Regions of smaller and typically older operations displayed high CH4 readings, presumably from leakage; VOC were also detected at very high levels. (3) Evaluations of OMI v4 and TROPOMI satellite NO2 data with ground- and ship-based Pandora columns are in good agreement with one another, thereby establishing that BOEM can monitor NO2 from space. There has been an absence of regular AQ measurements in and near the GOM, so SCOAPE data constitute a baseline against which future observations can be compared. Continuous monitoring of NO2 and O3 from space and with instruments along the coast and in the GOM will benefit BOEM’s ongoing mission.