Theme 3: Monitoring Methods Optimization [PDF]

Monitoring optimization of geological carbon sequestration at GCCC focuses on four monitoring zones: in zone, above zone, shallow groundwater, and vadose zone. Our work includes field demonstration, laboratory studies, and assessments.

A variety of monitoring options are possible at geological sequestration sites

  • Developed new monitoring tools and approaches: for example, a process-based method of using gas ratios to attribute sources of anomalies and time-lapse compressibility to assess change/no change in fluid in a zone.
  • Analyzed dense monitoring data from 2008 to the present from the research-oriented program at Cranfield, Mississippi.
  • Designed a monitoring plan for two commercial enhanced oil recovery (EOR)projects sourced from anthropogenic (captured) CO2 (Hastings and West Ranch, Texas).
  • Produced assessments of methods for optimization of monitoring approaches including site-specific sensitivity of tools(Hovorka, S. D., Zeidouni, Mehdi, Sava, Diana, Remington, R. L., and Yang, Changbing, in revision, 2014, Site-specific optimization of selection of monitoring technologies, in Carbon dioxide storage in deep saline formations: v. 4, CPL Press and BP.), sites with storage via EOR (Wolaver, B. D., Hovorka, S. D., and Smyth, R. C., 2013, Greensites and brownsites: implications for CO2 sequestration characterization, risk assessment, and monitoring: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, v. 19, p. 49–62,doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2013.07.020.), and statistical methods for optimization of well placement.
  • Transmitted information to industry and regulatory participants (see Outreach, Training, Policy and Regulation Theme for more information).
  • Pioneered pressure surveillance of above-zone monitoring intervals (AZMI) as a robust, commercial method of assessing storage permanence.
  • Provided fit-to-purpose monitoring tools for response to changes (time-lapse compressibility and process-based method) (see Natural Analog Studies Theme for more on process-based method).
  • Improved conceptualization of fluid flow using multiple methods in a cross-well array.
  • Developed a pragmatic approach to monitoring large-scale injection with full industrial participation.
  • Enabled the private sector to develop an economically viable CO2 sequestration industry.
  • Assessed and demonstrated limits, as well as strengths, of monitoring methods that support parsimonious commercial plans.
  • Generated valuable experience using monitoring data for input into a fluid-flow model.
Major Projects





The GCCC seeks to apply its technical and educational resources to implement geologic storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on an aggressive time scale with a focus in a region where large-scale reduction of atmospheric releases is needed and short term action is possible.