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 Abstract

 

Use of Soil-Gas, Gas Flux, and Ground Water Monitoring to Evaluate Potential Leakage to Underground Sources of Drinking Water, the Atmosphere, and Buildings During Geological Sequestration of Carbon (2 pp, 132 KB) (EPA/600/S-09/030) February 2010

 

It is widely acknowledged that leakage through transmissive faults (and associated fractures) and well penetrations (operational, nonoperational, and abandoned wells) are the most likely pathways for migration out of a storage formation at sites selected for geological sequestration. Leakage through transmissive faults and well penetrations could result in:

  • Intrusion of carbon dioxide or brine into an underground sources of drinking water (USDW)
  • Release of carbon dioxide into the vadose zone and the atmosphere
  • Intrusion of carbon dioxide into buildings

Release of carbon dioxide or brine into a USDW could be accompanied by measurable alteration in pH, major ions, and mobilization of hazardous inorganic compounds. Release of carbon dioxide into the vadose zone could be accompanied by compositional changes in soil gas. Intrusion of carbon dioxide into buildings could result in unsafe concentrations of carbon dioxide and reduction in oxygen in indoor air. Ongoing research investigating the potential impact of geologic sequestration on USDWs, the vadose zone, and indoor air will be discussed.

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Robert Puls


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