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Title: CO 2 leakage impacts on shallow groundwater. Field-scale reactive-transport simulations informed by observations at a natural analog site

Abstract

It is challenging to predict the degree to which shallow groundwater might be affected by leaks from a CO 2 sequestration reservoir, particularly over long time scales and large spatial scales. In this study observations at a CO 2 enriched shallow aquifer natural analog were used to develop a predictive model which is then used to simulate leakage scenarios. This natural analog provides the opportunity to make direct field observations of groundwater chemistry in the presence of elevated CO 2, to collect aquifer samples and expose them to CO 2 under controlled conditions in the laboratory, and to test the ability of multiphase reactive transport models to reproduce measured geochemical trends at the field-scale. The field observations suggest that brackish water entrained with the upwelling CO 2 are a more significant source of trace metals than in situ mobilization of metals due to exposure to CO 2. The study focuses on a single trace metal of concern at this site: U. Experimental results indicate that cation exchange/adsorption and dissolution/precipitation of calcite containing trace amounts of U are important reactions controlling U in groundwater at this site, and that the amount of U associated with calcite is fairly well constrained. Simulationsmore » incorporating these results into a 3-D multi-phase reactive transport model are able to reproduce the measured ranges and trends between pH, pCO 2, Ca, total C, U and Cl -at the field site. Although the true fluxes at the natural analog site are unknown, the cumulative CO 2 flux inferred from these simulations are approximately equivalent to 37.8E-3 MT, approximately corresponding to a .001% leak rate for injection at a large (750 MW) power plant. The leakage scenario simulations suggest that if the leak only persists for a short time the volume of aquifer contaminated by CO 2-induced mobilization of U will be relatively small, yet persistent over 100 a.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV (United States). In-house Research
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1178543
Report Number(s):
NETL-PUB-539
Journal ID: ISSN 0883-2927
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Geochemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0883-2927
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Keating, Elizabeth H., Hakala, J. Alexandra, Viswanathan, Hari, Carey, J. William, Pawar, Rajesh, Guthrie, George D., and Fessenden-Rahn, Julianna. CO2 leakage impacts on shallow groundwater. Field-scale reactive-transport simulations informed by observations at a natural analog site. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.08.007.
Keating, Elizabeth H., Hakala, J. Alexandra, Viswanathan, Hari, Carey, J. William, Pawar, Rajesh, Guthrie, George D., & Fessenden-Rahn, Julianna. CO2 leakage impacts on shallow groundwater. Field-scale reactive-transport simulations informed by observations at a natural analog site. United States. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.08.007.
Keating, Elizabeth H., Hakala, J. Alexandra, Viswanathan, Hari, Carey, J. William, Pawar, Rajesh, Guthrie, George D., and Fessenden-Rahn, Julianna. Fri . "CO2 leakage impacts on shallow groundwater. Field-scale reactive-transport simulations informed by observations at a natural analog site". United States. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.08.007. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1178543.
@article{osti_1178543,
title = {CO2 leakage impacts on shallow groundwater. Field-scale reactive-transport simulations informed by observations at a natural analog site},
author = {Keating, Elizabeth H. and Hakala, J. Alexandra and Viswanathan, Hari and Carey, J. William and Pawar, Rajesh and Guthrie, George D. and Fessenden-Rahn, Julianna},
abstractNote = {It is challenging to predict the degree to which shallow groundwater might be affected by leaks from a CO2 sequestration reservoir, particularly over long time scales and large spatial scales. In this study observations at a CO2 enriched shallow aquifer natural analog were used to develop a predictive model which is then used to simulate leakage scenarios. This natural analog provides the opportunity to make direct field observations of groundwater chemistry in the presence of elevated CO2, to collect aquifer samples and expose them to CO2 under controlled conditions in the laboratory, and to test the ability of multiphase reactive transport models to reproduce measured geochemical trends at the field-scale. The field observations suggest that brackish water entrained with the upwelling CO2 are a more significant source of trace metals than in situ mobilization of metals due to exposure to CO2. The study focuses on a single trace metal of concern at this site: U. Experimental results indicate that cation exchange/adsorption and dissolution/precipitation of calcite containing trace amounts of U are important reactions controlling U in groundwater at this site, and that the amount of U associated with calcite is fairly well constrained. Simulations incorporating these results into a 3-D multi-phase reactive transport model are able to reproduce the measured ranges and trends between pH, pCO2, Ca, total C, U and Cl-at the field site. Although the true fluxes at the natural analog site are unknown, the cumulative CO2 flux inferred from these simulations are approximately equivalent to 37.8E-3 MT, approximately corresponding to a .001% leak rate for injection at a large (750 MW) power plant. The leakage scenario simulations suggest that if the leak only persists for a short time the volume of aquifer contaminated by CO2-induced mobilization of U will be relatively small, yet persistent over 100 a.},
doi = {10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.08.007},
journal = {Applied Geochemistry},
number = C,
volume = 30,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {3}
}

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