Comparison of the Gaussian plume and puff atmospheric dispersion models on oil and gas facilities

Payne Institute Student Researchers Meng Jia and Will Daniels, and Faculty Fellow Dorit Hammerling write about how characterizing methane emissions on oil and gas facilities often relies on a forward model to describe the atmospheric transport of methane. Here we compare two forward models: the Gaussian plume, a commonly used steady-state dispersion model, and the Gaussian puff, a time varying dispersion model that approximates a continuous release as a sum over many small “puffs”. We compare model predictions to observations from a network of point-in-space continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) collected during a series of controlled releases.  January 6, 2023.