Remote sensing of CO2 leakage from geologic sequestration projects

International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation (Impact Factor: 3.47). 09/2014; 31:67–77. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2014.03.008


Monitoring for leak hazards is an important consideration in the deployment of carbon dioxide geologic sequestration. Failure to detect and correct leaks may invalidate any potential emissions benefits intended by such projects. Presented is a review of remote sensing methods primed to serve a central role in any monitoring program due to their minimally invasive nature and potential for large area coverage in a limited timeframe or in real-time as a continuous monitoring program. Methods investigated were divided into those capable of indirect detection of carbon dioxide leakage, such as monitoring for vegetative stress and ground surface deformation, and those that directly detect gaseous and atmospheric compounds, by means of such tools as Open-Path Fourier Transform Infrared or Tunable Diode Lasers. Both direct and indirect methods present viable means of detecting a leak event, though ultimately, a robust approach will incorporate multiple monitoring tools that may include both direct and indirect remote sensing methods.

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    • "Rinaldi and Rutqvist, 2013) in the vicinity of the injection well. A leakage at depth could also be detected through surface deformations (Jung et al., 2013; Verkerke et al., 2014). According to McColpin (2009), surface-deformation measurements can be used to monitor fracture, caprock integrity and out-of-zone fluid movement. "
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    ABSTRACT: CO 2 capture and storage (CCS) is recognized as a promising solution to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. Key issues associated with CCS relate to the integrity of the reservoir and the containment effectiveness. Some risk events (e.g. regional over-pressurization, leakage through a fault or an abandoned well) identified in the risk analysis may be linked with surface deformations anomalies, which can be detected and followed using surface deformation measurements. At In-Salah (Algeria), Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data are available for all points due to ideal surface conditions. If a similar injection occurred in constrained conditions (large cover of vegetated areas for instance), a geodetic network (set of corner reflectors that constitute artificial measurements points) could be used to compensate the scarcity of existing persistent scatterers. The present study aims at exploring the feasibility of using such a geodetic network as part of the monitoring plan in constrained conditions. The sizing of such a network is discussed regarding three monitoring objectives: regional-scale surveillance, local anomaly with known and unknown spatial locations. In the context of In-Salah, a very limited number of measurement points (∼20) enables capturing the regional deformation pattern. The addition of a series of less than 5 supplementary points brings useful information to detect local anomalies of small-to-moderate (e.g. subsidence, with 1 km radius and 2 mm/y maximal amplitude) size for a known position. For detecting an unpredicted anomaly, the measurements network density needs to be largely increased, making the method more expensive. Though the results are not directly transposable in other settings, this experience feedback brings useful orders of magnitude and an original risk-oriented approach.
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