Relating landfill gas emissions to atmospheric pressure using numerical modelling and state-space analysis

G. Poulsen Tjalfe G., Mette Christophersen, Per Moldrup, Peter Kjeldsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Landfill gas (CO2 and CH4) concentrations and fluxes in soil adjacent to an old, unlined Danish municipal landfill measured over a 48-hour period during the passage of a low-pressure weather system were used to identify processes governing gas fluxes and concentrations. Two different approaches were applied: (I) State-space analysis was used to identify relations between gas flux and short-term (hourly) variations in atmospheric pressure. (II) A numerical gas transport model was fitted to the data and used to quantify short-term impacts of variations in atmospheric pressure, volumetric soil-water content, soil gas permeability, soil gas diffusion coefficients, and biological CH4 degradation rate upon landfill gas concentration and fluxes in the soil. Fluxes and concentrations were found to be most sensitive to variations in volumetric soil water content, atmospheric pressure variations and gas permeability whereas variations in CH4 oxidation rate and molecular coefficients had less influence. Fluxes appeared to be most sensitive to atmospheric pressure at intermediate distances from the landfill edge. Also overall CH4 fluxes out of the soil over longer periods (years) were largest during periods with rapidly decreasing atmospheric pressures resulting in emission of large amounts of CH4 during short periods of time. This effect, however, was less significant for the CO2 fluxes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-366
Number of pages11
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmospheric pressure variations
  • CH oxidation
  • Landfill gas emission
  • Numerical modelling
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • State-space analysis
  • wmr 640-3


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