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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(3), 818-829; doi:10.3390/ijerph8030818
Article

Geological Carbon Sequestration: A New Approach for Near-Surface Assurance Monitoring

Environmental Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Bldg. 490, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Received: 24 December 2010 / Revised: 23 February 2011 / Accepted: 8 March 2011 / Published: 11 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Storage)
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Abstract

There are two distinct objectives in monitoring geological carbon sequestration (GCS): Deep monitoring of the reservoir’s integrity and plume movement and near-surface monitoring (NSM) to ensure public health and the safety of the environment. However, the minimum detection limits of the current instrumentation for NSM is too high for detecting weak signals that are embedded in the background levels of the natural variations, and the data obtained represents point measurements in space and time. A new approach for NSM, based on gamma-ray spectroscopy induced by inelastic neutron scatterings (INS), offers novel and unique characteristics providing the following: (1) High sensitivity with a reducible error of measurement and detection limits, and, (2) temporal- and spatial-integration of carbon in soil that results from underground CO2 seepage. Preliminary field results validated this approach showing carbon suppression of 14% in the first year and 7% in the second year. In addition the temporal behavior of the error propagation is presented and it is shown that for a signal at the level of the minimum detection level the error asymptotically approaches 47%.
Keywords: carbon; monitoring; geological sequestration; spectroscopy; neutrons; gamma-rays; errors; minimum detectable limits carbon; monitoring; geological sequestration; spectroscopy; neutrons; gamma-rays; errors; minimum detectable limits
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wielopolski, L. Geological Carbon Sequestration: A New Approach for Near-Surface Assurance Monitoring. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 818-829.

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