ARRA Research

Geologic Sequestration Training and Research (GSTR) -

Recovery Act: Modeling and Evaluation of Geophysical Methods for Monitoring and Tracking CO2 Migration in the Subsurface

Performer: The Ohio State University

Project No: FE0002441

Project Description

DOE partnered with The Ohio State University (OSU) to conduct research that focuses on enhancing geophysical methods to better characterize subsurface geologic conditions and monitor the effects of CO2 injection. Subsurface seismic and electromagnetic techniques are the only remote detection methods that can provide a detailed image of the subsurface. OSU’s efforts focused on improving the interpretation methods for subsurface seismic and electromagnetic (EM) techniques to enhance CO2 plume tracking. The primary scope of this research has been to generate three dimensional (3-D) models (crosshole and surface models) for both electromagnetic and seismic methods for the purpose of tracking CO2 at injection sites (Figure 1). Formation density and seismic return velocity are the key parameters required for testing and modeling seismic measurements. Conductivity and electric permittivity of the geology and the injected CO2 are critical parameters of the model variation for the electromagnetic measurements. The resultant models based on these data were then analyzed to determine the detection limits for geophysical imaging, using high frequency electromagnetic and seismic measurements. These models are capable of optimizing the spatial distribution of wellbores for CO2 plume tracking based on site-specific geologic data.

OSU has developed a graphical user interface-program called GphyzCO2 for the purpose of optimizing project site monitoring, verification, and accounting plans to track CO2 plumes. Program outputs were used to help aid the design of cross-hole, hole-to-surface, and geophysical surveys for the purpose of monitoring CO2 injection sites. The program is capable of determining the optimum number and location of wells necessary to approximate the extent of CO2 plume migration and displaying data in a three dimensional format.

Project Details