Using eddy covariance to detect leaks from CO2 sequestered in deep aquifers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the eddy covariance method of measuring earth-atmosphere CO2 exchange, including past applications to measurements of volcanic venting of CO2. It assesses the ability to detect leaks from geologic CO2 reservoirs by comparing expected leakage rates to typical ecological flux rates. While the character and magnitude of ecological fluxes are well established, reservoir leakage rates and areas are uncertain. Fairly conservative estimates based on ensuring the economic viability of CO2 sequestration are constructed. The estimates of leakage rate and area yield leakage fluxes that range from 1 to 10 times the magnitude of typical ecological fluxes. This approach shows promise for the monitoring of CO2 sequestration in deep aquifers. Leak detection is shown to be a simpler problem than leak quantification, but both can in principle be accomplished using eddy covariance under conditions favorable for the measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGreenhouse Gas Control Technologies
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780080447049
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy


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