Stragegies to Detect Hidden Geothermal Systems Based on Monitoring and Analysis of CO2 in the Near-Surface Environment
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Stragegies to Detect Hidden Geothermal Systems Based on Monitoring and Analysis of CO2 in the Near-Surface Environment

  • Author(s): Lewicki, Jennifer L.
  • Oldenburg, Curtis M.
  • et al.
Abstract

We investigate the potential for CO2 monitoring in the near-surface environment as an approach to exploration for hidden geothermal systems. Numerical simulations of CO2 migration from a model hidden geothermal system show that CO2 concentrations can reach high levels in the shallow subsurface even for relatively low CO2 fluxes. Therefore, subsurface measurements offer an advantage over above-ground measurements which are affected by winds that rapidly disperse CO2. To meet the challenge of detecting geothermal CO2 emissions within the natural background variability of CO2, we propose an approach that integrates available detection and monitoring techniques with statistical analysis and modeling.

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