Articles | Volume 19, issue 19
Research article
30 Sep 2019
Research article |  | 30 Sep 2019

Assessment of the theoretical limit in instrumental detectability of northern high-latitude methane sources using δ13CCH4 atmospheric signals

Thibaud Thonat, Marielle Saunois, Isabelle Pison, Antoine Berchet, Thomas Hocking, Brett F. Thornton, Patrick M. Crill, and Philippe Bousquet

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Cited articles

Anthony, K. M. W., Anthony, P., Grosse, G., and Chanton, J. P.: Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers, Nat. Geosci., 5, 419–426,, 2012. 
Bastviken, D., Tranvik, L. J., Downing, J. A., Crill, P. M., and Enrich-Prast, A.: Freshwater methane emissions offset the continental carbon sink, Science, 331, 50 pp.,, 2011. 
Berchet, A., Pison, I., Chevallier, F., Paris, J.-D., Bousquet, P., Bonne, J.-L., Arshinov, M. Y., Belan, B. D., Cressot, C., Davydov, D. K., Dlugokencky, E. J., Fofonov, A. V., Galanin, A., Lavrič, J., Machida, T., Parker, R., Sasakawa, M., Spahni, R., Stocker, B. D., and Winderlich, J.: Natural and anthropogenic methane fluxes in Eurasia: a mesoscale quantification by generalized atmospheric inversion, Biogeosciences, 12, 5393–5414,, 2015. 
Berchet, A., Bousquet, P., Pison, I., Locatelli, R., Chevallier, F., Paris, J.-D., Dlugokencky, E. J., Laurila, T., Hatakka, J., Viisanen, Y., Worthy, D. E. J., Nisbet, E., Fisher, R., France, J., Lowry, D., Ivakhov, V., and Hermansen, O.: Atmospheric constraints on the methane emissions from the East Siberian Shelf, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 4147–4157,, 2016. 
Bergamaschi, P., Lubina, C., Königstedt, R., Fischer, H., Veltkamp, A. C., and Zwaagstra, O.: Stable isotopic signatures (δ13C, δD) of methane from European landfill sites, J. Geophys. Res., 103, 8251–8265,, 1998. 
Short summary
This paper discusses the methane isotopic signals that could be detected at instrumental surface sites in the northern high latitudes using a 3–D chemistry transport model. Isotopic signals may be used in atmospheric inverse systems to better characterize methane emissions and changes. We show that depending on the source magnitude and the location of the site, detecting isotopic signals of specific individual sources may be challenging for the new generation of methane isotope instruments.
Final-revised paper