Baseline variability in onshore near surface gases and implications for monitoring at CO2 storage sites

Jones, D.G.; Beubien, S.E.; Barlow, T.S.; Barkwith, A.K.A.P.; Hannis, S.D.; Lister, T.R.; Strutt, M.H.; Bellomo, T.; Annunziatellis, A.; Graziani, S.; Lombardi, S.; Ruggiero, L.; Braibant, G.; Gal, F.; Joublin, F.; Michel, K.. 2014 Baseline variability in onshore near surface gases and implications for monitoring at CO2 storage sites. Energy Procedia, 63. 4155-4162.

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The measurement of gas concentrations and fluxes in the soil and atmosphere is a powerful tool for monitoring geological carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites because the analyses are made directly in the biosphere in which we live. These methods can be used to both find and accurately quantifying leaks, and are visible and tangible data for public and ecosystem safety. To be most reliable and accurate, however, the measurements must be interpreted in the context of natural variations in gas concentration and flux. Such baseline data vary both spatially and temporally due to natural processes, and a clear understanding of their values and distributions is critical for interpreting near-surface gas monitoring techniques. The best example is CO2 itself, as the production of this gas via soil respiration can create a wide range of concentrations and fluxes that must be separated from, and not confused with, CO2 that may leak towards the surface from a storage reservoir. The present article summarizes baseline studies performed by the authors at various sites having different climates and geological settings from both Europe and North America, with focus given to the range of values that can result from near surface processes and how different techniques or data processing approaches can be used to help distinguish a leakage signal from an anomalous, shallow biogenic signal.

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Date made live: 26 Mar 2015 12:05 +0 (UTC)

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