Derivation of groundwater threshold values for analysis of impacts predicted at potential carbon sequestration sites
Published on Jun 1, 2016in International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control3.231
· DOI :10.1016/j.ijggc.2016.03.004
Abstract The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) Project is developing reduced-order models to evaluate potential impacts to groundwater quality due to carbon dioxide (CO2) or brine leakage, should it occur from deep CO2 storage reservoirs. These efforts targeted two classes of aquifer—an unconfined fractured carbonate aquifer based on the Edwards Aquifer in Texas, and a confined alluvium aquifer based on the High Plains Aquifer in Kansas. Hypothetical leakage scenarios focus on wellbores as the most likely conduits from the storage reservoir to an underground source of drinking water (USDW). To facilitate evaluation of potential degradation of the USDWs, threshold values, below which there would be no predicted impacts, were determined for each of these two aquifer systems. These threshold values were calculated using an interwell approach for determining background groundwater concentrations that is an adaptation of methods described in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Unified Guidance for Statistical Analysis of Groundwater Monitoring Data at RCRA Facilities. Results demonstrate the importance of establishing baseline groundwater quality conditions that capture the spatial and temporal variability of the USDWs prior to CO2 injection and storage.