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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
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    ABSTRACT: The injection of CO2 into deep aquifers can potentially affect the quality of groundwater supplies were leakage to occur from the injection formation or fluids. Therefore, the detection of CO2 and/or entrained contaminants that migrate into shallow groundwater aquifers is important both to assess storage permanence and to evaluate impacts on water resources. Naturally occurring elements (i.e., Li, Sr) in conjunction with isotope ratios can be used to detect such leakage. We propose the use of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) as an analytical technique to detect a suite of elements in water samples. LIBS has real time monitoring capabilities and can be applied for elemental and isotopic analysis of solid, liquid, and gas samples. The flexibility of probe design and use of fiber optics make it a suitable technique for real time measurements in harsh conditions and in hard to reach places. The laboratory scale experiments to measure Li, K, Ca, and Sr composition of water samples indicate that the technique produces rapid and reliable data. Since CO2 leakage from saline aquifers may accompany a brine solution, we studied the effect of sodium salts on the accuracy of LIBS analysis. This work specifically also details the fabrication and application of a miniature ruggedized remotely operated diode pumped solid state passively Q-switched laser system for use as the plasma excitation source for a real time LIBS analysis. This work also proposes the optical distribution of many laser spark sources across a wide area for widespread leak detection and basin monitoring.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The performance of Permanent Scatterers PS Interferometry (PSI) analysis is highly limited where the presence of large vegetated cover (agricultural terrains/forests) reduces signal coherence. A possible solution relies on the installation on ground of artificial devices (Corner Reflectors CR) to complement the existing PS network. Yet, the number of such CRs (spatial density typically ~1/km2) can be limited when the deformation pattern affects a large area (tens of km2) especially for CO2 geological storage in open aquifers. In order to support the surveillance of such sites, we address here the question of how to estimate the spatio-temporal distribution of the ground displacements over the whole area using only the sparse CR+PS network. We propose to test the feasibility of the Geostatistics Output Perturbation (GOP) method, enabling to combine: 1. The results of the reservoir model calibrated on the limited number of ground displacements' time series and, 2. The spatial correlation between such calibrated results and the observations. A test case was constructed using the signal measured during CO2 injection (from 2004-2009) in the KB501 well of the In-Salah site, Algeria at only a few tens of spatial measurement points either corresponding to: 1. a "realistic" PS network selected in a highly vegetated region in western France or 2. a series of CR selected through a space-filling criterion. The comparison with the observations over the whole area confirmed that 80% of the temporal observations were fitted by the GOP method over the region defined by the CR network with a density of ~1CR/km2. Comparisons with the calibrated model results and with the direct application of a spatio-temporal kriging confirmed the better performance of GOP as well.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Engineering Geology
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