Large methane emissions leaking from landfills close to the center of Madrid, Spain

High-resolution satellites have detected substantial quantities of methane leaking from two landfill sites close to the center of Madrid, Spain.

Using data from the ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission combined with GHGSat’s high-resolution commercial imagery, scientists from the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) and GHGSat discovered both landfill sites combined emitted 8 800 kg (19 400 pounds) of methane per hour in August 2021, representing the highest observed in Europe by GHGSat.1

The area was originally identified based on methane hotspot mapping using Tropomi data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite by researchers at SRON.

Scientists then used CHGSat imagery to spot methane plumes on August 20 and October 13, 2021, emanating from two landfill sites approximately 6 km (3.7 miles) apart, located just 18 km (11 miles) from the center of Madrid.

The largest source released methane at a rate nearing 5 000 kg (11 000 pounds) per hour, with satellite imagery showing a cloud of greenhouse gas drifting towards nearby residences.

The cause of the emissions is currently unknown, but data has been shared with the operator.

Image credit: CHGSat, ESA


1 Satellites detect large methane emissions from Madrid landfills - ESA

Featured image credit: CHGSat, ESA

Heavy rains destroy over 5 million ha (12.4 million acres) of crops in 2021, India

December 01, 2021

Heavy rain in India has destroyed more than 5 million ha (12.4 million acres) of crops in 2021. Karnataka was the worst affected, with 1.4 million ha (3.5 million acres) of crop lost, followed by Rajasthan with 679 000 ha (1.68 million acres), West Bengal with 690...

Parts of northern Saudi Arabia covered in a layer of hail and snow

November 22, 2021

Parts of northern Saudi Arabia were covered in a fine layer of hail and snow on Sunday, November 21, 2021, as temperatures plummeted to approximately 7 °C (44.6 °F). One of the affected cities was Qurayyat, Al Jawf Province, located about 30 km (18 miles)...

Severe damage after cricket ball-sized hail hits Lydenburg, South Africa

November 16, 2021

A severe hailstorm classified by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) as a superstorm, hit the town of Lydenburg in Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, Mpumalanga highveld during the afternoon hours of Sunday, November 14, 2021. Some of the hailstones were larger...

Impressive hail accumulation after severe storm hits Taija, Bolivia

November 02, 2021

A severe hailstorm hit the Bolivian town of Taija on October 31, 2021, leaving impressive amounts of hail on the streets. Parts of the city were covered in up to 60 cm (2 feet) of hail. Featured image credit: La Vanguardia...

Rare waterspout forms off Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

October 27, 2021

A rare waterspout for the region formed off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates on the morning of October 27, 2021. While waterspouts are rare in the UAE, they can occur when the weather conditions are right, and several of them have been recorded before off...


Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, please consider becoming a supporter.



Janine 20 days ago

Have traced the site to a state of the art recicling facility owned by the town hall of Madrid. Their composting and biomethanization plant opened in 2008. See links below. and

DawnieR 21 days ago

"The cause of the emissions is currently unknown, but data has been shared with the operator."????? Seriously?? Mmmmmm.....might it be because what is in the landfill is 'BREAKING DOWN'?! (aka Decomposing)

David Godwin 21 days ago

the old 7 layer burrito switcheroo deal.. SCIENCE! bush league.

Post a comment

Your name: *

Your email address: *

Comment text: *

The image that appears on your comment is your Gravatar