The Indianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX): A test-bed for developing urban greenhouse gas emission measurements

Kenneth J. Davis, Aijun Deng, Thomas Lauvaux, Natasha L. Miles, Scott J. Richardson, Daniel P. Sarmiento, Kevin R. Gurney, R. Michael Hardesty, Timothy A. Bonin, W. Alan Brewer, Brian K. Lamb, Paul B. Shepson, Rebecca M. Harvey, Maria O. Cambaliza, Colm Sweeney, Jocelyn C. Turnbull, James Whetstone, Anna Karion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The objective of the Indianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX) is to develop, evaluate and improve methods for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cities. INFLUX's scientific objectives are to quantify CO2 and CH4 emission rates at 1 km2 resolution with a 10% or better accuracy and precision, to determine whole-city emissions with similar skill, and to achieve high (weekly or finer) temporal resolution at both spatial resolutions. The experiment employs atmospheric GHG measurements from both towers and aircraft, atmospheric transport observations and models, and activity-based inventory products to quantify urban GHG emissions. Multiple, independent methods for estimating urban emissions are a central facet of our experimental design. INFLUX was initiated in 2010 and measurements and analyses are ongoing. To date we have quantified urban atmospheric GHG enhancements using aircraft and towers with measurements collected over multiple years, and have estimated whole-city CO2 and CH4 emissions using aircraft and tower GHG measurements, and inventory methods. Significant differences exist across methods; these differences have not yet been resolved; research to reduce uncertainties and reconcile these differences is underway. Sectorally- and spatially-resolved flux estimates, and detection of changes of fluxes over time, are also active research topics. Major challenges include developing methods for distinguishing anthropogenic from biogenic CO2 fluxes, improving our ability to interpret atmospheric GHG measurements close to urban GHG sources and across a broader range of atmospheric stability conditions, and quantifying uncertainties in inventory data products. INFLUX data and tools are intended to serve as an open resource and test bed for future investigations. Well-documented, public archival of data and methods is under development in support of this objective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon emissions
  • Greenhouse gas measurements
  • Methane
  • Urban emissions
  • Urban meteorology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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