Dynamics of geologic CO 2 storage and plume motion revealed by seismic coda waves

Tieyuan Zhu, Jonathan Ajo-Franklin, Thomas M. Daley, Chris Marone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Quantifying the dynamics of sequestered CO 2 plumes is critical for safe long-term storage, providing guidance on plume extent, and detecting stratigraphic seal failure. However, existing seismic monitoring methods based on wave reflection or transmission probe a limited rock volume and their sensitivity decreases as CO 2 saturation increases, decreasing their utility in quantitative plume mass estimation. Here we show that seismic scattering coda waves, acquired during continuous borehole monitoring, are able to illuminate details of the CO 2 plume during a 74-h CO 2 injection experiment at the Frio-II well Dayton, TX. Our study reveals a continuous velocity reduction during the dynamic injection of CO 2 , a result that augments and dramatically improves upon prior analyses based on P-wave arrival times. We show that velocity reduction is nonlinearly correlated with the injected cumulative CO 2 mass and attribute this correlation to the fact that coda waves repeatedly sample the heterogeneous distribution of cumulative CO 2 in the reservoir zone. Lastly, because our approach does not depend on P-wave arrival times or require well-constrained wave reflections it can be used with many source–receiver geometries including those external to the reservoir, which reduces the risk introduced by in-reservoir monitoring wells. Our results provide an approach for quantitative CO 2 monitoring and plume evolution that increases safety and long-term planning for CO 2 injection and storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2464-2469
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 12 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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