Coal fires occur in nature spontaneously, contribute to increases in greenhouse gases, and emit atmospheric toxicants. Increasing interest in quantifying coal fire emissions has resulted in the adaptation and development of specialized approaches and adoption of numerical modeling techniques. Overview of these methods for direct estimation of diffuse gas emissions from coal fires is presented in this paper. Here we take advantage of stochastic Gaussian simulation to interpolate CO2 fluxes measured using a dynamic closed chamber at the Ruth Mullins coal fire in Perry County, Kentucky. This approach allows for preparing a map of diffuse gas emissions, one of the two primary ways that gases emanate from coal fires, and establishing the reliability of the study both locally and for the entire fire. Future research directions include continuous and automated sampling to improve quantification of gaseous coal fire emissions.
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Direct estimation of diffuse gaseous emissions from coal fires: current methods and future directions