2022 journal article

Integrated Methane Inversion (IMI 1.0): a user-friendly, cloud-based facility for inferring high-resolution methane emissions from TROPOMI satellite observations

Geoscientific Model Development, 15(14), 5787–5805.

By: D. Varon*, D. Jacob*, M. Sulprizio*, L. Estrada*, W. Downs*, L. Shen*, S. Hancock*, H. Nesser* ...

Source: ORCID
Added: September 4, 2023

Abstract. We present a user-friendly, cloud-based facility for quantifying methane emissions with 0.25∘ × 0.3125∘ (≈ 25 km × 25 km) resolution by inverse analysis of satellite observations from the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI). The facility is built on an Integrated Methane Inversion optimal estimation workflow (IMI 1.0) and supported for use on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. It exploits the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model and TROPOMI data already resident on AWS, thus avoiding cumbersome big-data download. Users select a region and period of interest, and the IMI returns an analytical solution for the Bayesian optimal estimate of period-average emissions on the 0.25∘ × 0.3125∘ grid including error statistics, information content, and visualization code for inspection of results. The inversion uses an advanced research-grade algorithm fully documented in the literature. An out-of-the-box inversion with rectilinear grid and default prior emission estimates can be conducted with no significant learning curve. Users can also configure their inversions to infer emissions for irregular regions of interest, swap in their own prior emission inventories, and modify inversion parameters. Inversion ensembles can be generated at minimal additional cost once the Jacobian matrix for the analytical inversion has been constructed. A preview feature allows users to determine the TROPOMI information content for their region and time period of interest before actually performing the inversion. The IMI is heavily documented and is intended to be accessible by researchers and stakeholders with no expertise in inverse modelling or high-performance computing. We demonstrate the IMI's capabilities by applying it to estimate methane emissions from the US oil-producing Permian Basin in May 2018.