ATMOSPHERIC MIXING MODELS OF FUGITIVE METHANE EMISSIONS FROM SHALE GAS DEPOSITS
To further understand these highly variable emissions this project investigates the design and implementation of various fugitive gas models from laboratory to field scale. A MatLab™ mixing model simulates the expected concentration of fugitive gases after mixing with the atmosphere under various conditions and across a broad area. This is used to determine lower limits to which analytical (compositional and isotopic) approaches can detect leaks, optimize spatial and statistical sampling strategies, and estimate the volume/flux of fugitive emissions. To strengthen the model it will be tested with a physical “sandbox” experiment and compared to previous studies. Eventually this model will be applied to samples from the Antrim Shale, Michigan Basin, where carbon dioxide that is extremely enriched in 13C (+20‰ compared to atmospheric values of -9‰) produced alongside methane may serve as a “marker” for detecting leaks.