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Title Soil-gas identification of vadose-zone carbon cycling: Implications for near-surface modeling at CCS sites
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Short Title
Romanak, K.D.
Bennett, P.C.
Yang, C.
Hovorka, S.D.

Strategies for identifying and interpreting the effects of environmental factors on soil-CO2 concentrations are essential to developing accurate near-surface monitoring protocols at carbon storage sites. Because CO2 exists naturally in the vadose zone and is spatially and temporally variable, it may be difficult to discern natural background fluctuations from a storage site leakage signal, especially in the early stages of leakage. This difficulty arises from abiotic and biotic cycling processes that may either produce and/or concentrate CO2 yielding false positives in areas where leakage has not occurred, and processes that consume or disperse CO2 and may yield false negatives in areas that would otherwise exhibit a distinguishable leakage signal. It is therefore important to have the capability to identify and ultimately quantify the natural processes that govern background CO2 concentrations. Ideally this capability should be cost-effective and enhance the chances for correct and early leak detection in the near-surface without years of background soil-gas monitoring and should provide information on the source of an anomaly. At a natural playa lake analogue site in west Texas, USA, we have successfully used simple soilgas measurements of CO2, CH4, N2, and O2 to identify near-surface CO2 cycling processes related to microbial CO2 production and consumption, dissolution of CO2 into recharging groundwater, and subsequent reaction of bicarbonate with soil carbonate. These observations have led to a framework for developing innovative monitoring protocols and a method for characterizing a site for its near-surface monitoring potential.

Collection GCCC Bookshelf
Pages 2
Issue Number
Keywords Modeling-Geochemical Monitoring-soil gas Field study
Year 2011
Date Published 0000-00-00 00:00:00
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Item Type Abstract

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