David S. Goldberg, Dennis V. Kent, Paul E. Olsen, and Natalia V. Zakharova
Massive continental flood basalts and smaller igneous intrusions exist on many continents and represent a potentially important host medium for the geologic sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). Injection into basalt formations provides unique and significant advantages, including large potential storage volumes and permanent fixation of carbon by mineralization. We analyze borehole geophysical and core data from a pilot CO2 sequestration project in the Columbia River flood basalts (Wallula, Washington, USA), and the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (the East Coast, USA). The Wallula Pilot project is the first field test specifically designed to confirm the feasibility of permanently and safely sequestering of CO2 within deep flood basalt formations. The porous flow tops in these deep flood basalts may offer reservoirs with high mineralization rates, long leakage migration paths, and thick sections of caprock for CO2 storage. The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province basalt flows in the South Georgia basin, the New York Bight basin, and the Sandy Hook basin offer promising basalt-hosted reservoirs with coniderable potential for CO2 sequestration due to their proximity to major metropolitan centers, and thus to large industrial sources for CO2. Onshore sites are suggested for cost-effective characterization studies of these reservoirs, although offshore sites may offer larger potential capacity and additional long-term advantages for safe and secure CO2 sequestration.
Wallula Pilot Project
Newark Basin Coring Project
Nature News Overview
Zakharova, N. V., Goldberg, D. S., Sullivan, E. C., Herron, M. M., & Grau, J. A. (2012). Petrophysical and geochemical properties of Columbia River flood basalt: Implications for carbon sequestration. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 13(11).
Goldberg, D. S., D. V. Kent, and P. E. Olsen (2010), Potential on-shore and off-shore reservoirs for CO2sequestration in Central Atlantic magmatic province basalts, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences107(4), 1327-1332.