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Title: Leakage and Seepage in the Near-Surface Environment: An Integrated Approach to Monitoring and Detection

Abstract

Monitoring and detection of leakage and seepage of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) in the near-surface environment is needed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of geologic carbon sequestration. Large leakage fluxes, e.g., through leaking wells, will be easier to detect and monitor than slow and diffuse leakage and seepage. The challenge of detecting slow leakage and seepage is discerning a leakage or seepage signal from within the natural background variations in CO{sub 2} concentration and flux that are controlled by a variety of coupled processes in soil. Although there are no direct examples of leaking geologic carbon sequestration sites on which to base a proposed verification approach, we have been guided by our prior simulation studies of CO{sub 2} leakage and seepage, which showed that large CO{sub 2} concentrations can develop in the shallow subsurface even for relatively small CO{sub 2} leakage fluxes. A variety of monitoring technologies exists for measuring CO{sub 2} concentration and flux, but there is a gap between instrument performance and the detection of a leakage or seepage signal from within large natural background variability. We propose an integrated approach to monitoring and verification. The first part of our proposed approach is to characterize and understandmore » the natural ecosystem before CO{sub 2} injection occurs so that future anomalies can be recognized. Measurements of natural CO{sub 2} fluxes using accumulation chamber (AC) and eddy correlation (EC) approaches, soil CO{sub 2} concentration profiles with depth, and carbon isotope compositions of CO{sub 2} are needed to characterize the natural state of the system prior to CO{sub 2} injection. From this information, modeling needs to be carried out to enhance understanding of carbon sources and sinks so that anomalies can be recognized and subject to closer scrutiny as potential leakage or seepage signals. Long-term monitoring using AC, EC, and soil-gas analyses along with ecosystem and flow and transport modeling should continue after CO{sub 2} injection. The integrated use of multiple measurements and modeling offers a promising approach to discerning and quantifying a small CO{sub 2} leakage or seepage signal from within the expected background variability.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. Office of Coal and Power System. National Energy Technologies Laboratory (US)
OSTI Identifier:
837241
Report Number(s):
LBNL-54283
R&D Project: G20401; TRN: US200505%%192
DOE Contract Number:  
AC03-76SF00098
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 7th International conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT-7), Vancouver, British Columbia (CA), 09/05/2004--09/09/2004; Other Information: PBD: 18 Dec 2003
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; CARBON DIOXIDE; CARBON ISOTOPES; CARBON SEQUESTRATION; CARBON SOURCES; DETECTION; ECOSYSTEMS; GREENHOUSES; MONITORING; MONITORS; PERFORMANCE; SAFETY; SIMULATION; SOILS; TRANSPORT; VERIFICATION

Citation Formats

Oldenburg, Curtis M, and Lewicki, Jennifer L. Leakage and Seepage in the Near-Surface Environment: An Integrated Approach to Monitoring and Detection. United States: N. p., 2003. Web.
Oldenburg, Curtis M, & Lewicki, Jennifer L. Leakage and Seepage in the Near-Surface Environment: An Integrated Approach to Monitoring and Detection. United States.
Oldenburg, Curtis M, and Lewicki, Jennifer L. Thu . "Leakage and Seepage in the Near-Surface Environment: An Integrated Approach to Monitoring and Detection". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/837241.
@article{osti_837241,
title = {Leakage and Seepage in the Near-Surface Environment: An Integrated Approach to Monitoring and Detection},
author = {Oldenburg, Curtis M and Lewicki, Jennifer L},
abstractNote = {Monitoring and detection of leakage and seepage of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) in the near-surface environment is needed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of geologic carbon sequestration. Large leakage fluxes, e.g., through leaking wells, will be easier to detect and monitor than slow and diffuse leakage and seepage. The challenge of detecting slow leakage and seepage is discerning a leakage or seepage signal from within the natural background variations in CO{sub 2} concentration and flux that are controlled by a variety of coupled processes in soil. Although there are no direct examples of leaking geologic carbon sequestration sites on which to base a proposed verification approach, we have been guided by our prior simulation studies of CO{sub 2} leakage and seepage, which showed that large CO{sub 2} concentrations can develop in the shallow subsurface even for relatively small CO{sub 2} leakage fluxes. A variety of monitoring technologies exists for measuring CO{sub 2} concentration and flux, but there is a gap between instrument performance and the detection of a leakage or seepage signal from within large natural background variability. We propose an integrated approach to monitoring and verification. The first part of our proposed approach is to characterize and understand the natural ecosystem before CO{sub 2} injection occurs so that future anomalies can be recognized. Measurements of natural CO{sub 2} fluxes using accumulation chamber (AC) and eddy correlation (EC) approaches, soil CO{sub 2} concentration profiles with depth, and carbon isotope compositions of CO{sub 2} are needed to characterize the natural state of the system prior to CO{sub 2} injection. From this information, modeling needs to be carried out to enhance understanding of carbon sources and sinks so that anomalies can be recognized and subject to closer scrutiny as potential leakage or seepage signals. Long-term monitoring using AC, EC, and soil-gas analyses along with ecosystem and flow and transport modeling should continue after CO{sub 2} injection. The integrated use of multiple measurements and modeling offers a promising approach to discerning and quantifying a small CO{sub 2} leakage or seepage signal from within the expected background variability.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2003},
month = {12}
}

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