Description: The Juan de Fuca plate, off the western coast of North America, has been suggested as a site for geological sequestration of waste carbon dioxide because of its many attractive characteristics (high permeability, large storage capacity, reactive rock types). Here we model CO2 injection into fractured basalts comprising the upper several hundred meters of the sub-seafloor basalt reservoir, overlain with low-permeability sediments and a large saline water column, to examine the feasibility of this reservoir for CO2 storage. Our simulations indicate that the sub-seafloor basalts of the Juan de Fuca plate may be an excellent CO2 storage candidate, as multiple trapping mechanisms (hydrodynamic, density inversions, and mineralization) act to keep the CO2 isolated from terrestrial environments. Questions remain about the lateral extent and connectivity of the high permeability basalts; however, the lack of wells or boreholes and thick sediment cover maximize storage potential while minimizing potential leakage pathways. Although promising, more study is needed to determine the economic viability of this option.
Date: November 1, 2012
Creator: Fairley, Jerry & Podgorney, Robert
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