Possible carbon dioxide storage sites are comprehensively assessed to identify potential escape routes and determine the likelihood of leakage before the site is approved for storage.
Monitoring techniques include atmospheric monitoring, soil gas and water sampling and seismic surveys.
A range of monitoring options exist to cover the deep subsurface, the near surface and the atmosphere.
Modelling can determine the rate at which carbon dioxide is dispersed from a point source.
Geological storage options for CO2. Several types of rock formations are suitable for CO2 storage, including depleted oil and gas fields, deep saline formations and deep, unmineable coal seams. Other types of formations such as basalts and oil shales are being examined by scientists for possible future use.
Some CO2 will be trapped between pores some will dissolve and sink in the formation and some will react to form stable minerals. The dissolved CO2 travels very slowly with the formation water, trapped in the formation.
Rock formations for geologic storage, such as deep saline formations, would be much deeper than any usable groundwater and separated from that groundwater by thick barriers of impervious rock.These formations generally already proved their effectiveness by keeping highly-salty saline water separate from usable groundwater for millions of years.
A sealing fault can line up an impervious rock layer with the formation to prevent the CO2 from moving upwards out of the formation.
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