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CO2 geological storage: how can isotopes help defining CO2 leakage in groundwater


The assessment of environmental impacts of CO2 geological storage requires the investigation of the potential CO2 leakages into fresh groundwater. The geochemical processes and perturbations associated with a CO2 leak into fresh groundwater could occur and alter groundwater quality as the increase of water-rock reactions allow minerals to release contaminant into groundwater. In the frame of monitoring and surveillance of storage sites, geophysical (seismic microgravimetry, electrical and electromagnetic methods...) or geochemical methods (major and trace elements, physico-chemical parameters, soil gas, C and O isotopes from CO2...) can be used. This study deals with the impact of CO2 leakages out of the storage into overlying aquifers with the aims to select suitable environmental isotope tracers to track water-rock interactions associated with small quantities of CO2 leaking into a freshwater aquifer. Several isotope tools can be used for investigating water rock interaction processes (Sr, Nd, Pb, B, Li...), to trace secondary processes (B, Li, Ca...), to evidence change in redox conditions (Fe, Zn, S, Cu...) when CO2 is added in the deep system. Through a PhD Thesis (Humez, 2012), we have tested several isotope systematics (C, O, B, Sr, Li, S) through experimental approach using a batch system in PTFE reactors at a pressure of 2 bar and at 20°C in laboratory using Albian sand as solid phase and groundwater from the confined part of the aquifer in the Paris Basin (France). A real scale application of the method was then performed in Norway in shallow aquifer with the opportunity to track the isotopic evolution for several systematics, while differentiating the natural processes and the system response to the CO2 injection. The investigation of new monitoring tools in the context of CO2 geological storage are in progress, regarding other isotope systematics or the impact on the water quality, in order to propose a robust method in the application of such geochemical and isotopic tools.
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Dates et versions

hal-00934310 , version 1 (21-01-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-00934310 , version 1


Philippe Négrel, Pauline Humez, Julie Lions, Vincent Lagneau. CO2 geological storage: how can isotopes help defining CO2 leakage in groundwater. Le Studium Conference -- Geochemical reactivity in CO2 geological storage sites, Feb 2013, Orléans, France. ⟨hal-00934310⟩
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