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Geological Carbon Sequestration: A New Approach for Near-Surface Assurance Monitoring

Author(s): Lucian Wielopolski

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN 1660-4601

Volume: 8;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 818;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: carbon | monitoring | geological sequestration | spectroscopy | neutrons | gamma-rays | errors | minimum detectable limits

There are two distinct objectives in monitoring geological carbon sequestration (GCS): Deep monitoring of the reservoir’s integrity and plume movement and near-surface monitoring (NSM) to ensure public health and the safety of the environment. However, the minimum detection limits of the current instrumentation for NSM is too high for detecting weak signals that are embedded in the background levels of the natural variations, and the data obtained represents point measurements in space and time. A new approach for NSM, based on gamma-ray spectroscopy induced by inelastic neutron scatterings (INS), offers novel and unique characteristics providing the following: (1) High sensitivity with a reducible error of measurement and detection limits, and, (2) temporal- and spatial-integration of carbon in soil that results from underground CO2 seepage. Preliminary field results validated this approach showing carbon suppression of 14% in the first year and 7% in the second year. In addition the temporal behavior of the error propagation is presented and it is shown that for a signal at the level of the minimum detection level the error asymptotically approaches 47%.
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