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Title: Buoyant currents arrested by convective dissolution

Abstract

[1] When carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves into water, the density of water increases. This seemingly insubstantial phenomenon has profound implications for geologic carbon sequestration. In this work we show, by means of laboratory experiments with analog fluids, that the up–slope migration of a buoyant current of CO2 is arrested by the convective dissolution that ensues from a fingering instability at the moving CO2–groundwater interface. We consider the effectiveness of convective dissolution as a large–scale trapping mechanism in sloping aquifers, and we show that a small amount of slope is beneficial compared to the horizontal case. We review the development and coarsening of the fingering instability along the migrating current and predict the maximum migration distance of the current with a simple sharp–interface model. We show that convective dissolution exerts a powerful control on CO2 plume dynamics and, as a conclusion, on the potential of geologic carbon sequestration.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States)
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1557834
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0003907; FE0002041
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 40; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; convective mixing; CO2 sequestration; gravity currents; solubility trapping

Citation Formats

MacMinn, Christopher W., and Juanes, Ruben. Buoyant currents arrested by convective dissolution. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1002/grl.50473.
MacMinn, Christopher W., & Juanes, Ruben. Buoyant currents arrested by convective dissolution. United States. doi:10.1002/grl.50473.
MacMinn, Christopher W., and Juanes, Ruben. Tue . "Buoyant currents arrested by convective dissolution". United States. doi:10.1002/grl.50473. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1557834.
@article{osti_1557834,
title = {Buoyant currents arrested by convective dissolution},
author = {MacMinn, Christopher W. and Juanes, Ruben},
abstractNote = {[1] When carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves into water, the density of water increases. This seemingly insubstantial phenomenon has profound implications for geologic carbon sequestration. In this work we show, by means of laboratory experiments with analog fluids, that the up–slope migration of a buoyant current of CO2 is arrested by the convective dissolution that ensues from a fingering instability at the moving CO2–groundwater interface. We consider the effectiveness of convective dissolution as a large–scale trapping mechanism in sloping aquifers, and we show that a small amount of slope is beneficial compared to the horizontal case. We review the development and coarsening of the fingering instability along the migrating current and predict the maximum migration distance of the current with a simple sharp–interface model. We show that convective dissolution exerts a powerful control on CO2 plume dynamics and, as a conclusion, on the potential of geologic carbon sequestration.},
doi = {10.1002/grl.50473},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 10,
volume = 40,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 39 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Convective dissolution arrests the up-slope migration of a buoyant current. Here we show snapshots of two buoyant currents migrating up-slope in a sloping aquifer (a Hele-Shaw cell for illustration). The CO2 analog is water (dark) in both cases. When the denser and more viscous ambient fluid is amore » mixture of glycerol and water (left), the fluids mix by diffusion-dispersion only, and the buoyant current migrates to the top of the cell and accumulates there. When the ambient fluid is propylene glycol (right), the dense mixture of the two fluids drives convective dissolution, which dissolves the buoyant current as it migrates.« less

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