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Using hyperspectral plant signatures for CO2 leak detection during the 2008 ZERT CO2 sequestration field experiment in Bozeman, Montana

  • Author(s): Male, Erin Jing
  • Pickles, William L.
  • Silver, Eli A.
  • Hoffmann, Gary D.
  • Lewicki, Jennifer
  • Apple, Martha
  • Repasky, Kevin
  • Burton, Elizabeth A.
  • et al.
Abstract

Hyperspectral plant signatures can be used as a short-term, as well as long-term (100-year timescale) monitoring technique to verify that CO2 sequestration fields have not been compromised. An influx of CO2 gas into the soil can stress vegetation, which causes changes in the visible to near-infrared reflectance spectral signature of the vegetation. For 29 days, beginning on July 9, 2008, pure carbon dioxide gas was released through a 100-m long horizontal injection well, at a flow rate of 300 kg day−1. Spectral signatures were recorded almost daily from an unmown patch of plants over the injection with a “FieldSpec Pro” spectrometer by Analytical Spectral Devices, Inc. Measurements were taken both inside and outside of the CO2 leak zone to normalize observations for other environmental factors affecting the plants. Four to five days after the injection began, stress was observed in the spectral signatures of plants within 1 m of the well. After approximately 10 days, moderate to high amounts of stress were measured out to 2.5 m from the well. This spatial distribution corresponded to areas of high CO2 flux from the injection. Airborne hyperspectral imagery, acquired by Resonon, Inc. of Bozeman, MT using their hyperspectral camera, also showed the same pattern of plant stress. Spectral signatures of the plants were also compared to the CO2 concentrations in the soil, which indicated that the lower limit of soil CO2 needed to stress vegetation is between 4 and 8% by volume.

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