Field-Scale Modeling of CO2 Mineral Trapping in Reactive Rocks: A Vertically Integrated Approach

T. J.W. Postma, K. W. Bandilla, C. A. Peters, M. A. Celia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Unlike sedimentary formations, flood basalts have the potential for relatively rapid mineral trapping when used as an injection target for CO2 storage. However, there are still open questions surrounding the implementation of CO2 storage in basalt at a large scale. These include how the porosity of the target formation will be altered by the geochemical activity, as well as whether a large-scale CO2 storage project can expect the same fast mineralization rates observed during small-scale pilot injections. Field-scale numerical modeling studies can play a role in answering these questions, by improving our understanding of the way in which details such as mineralogy, temperature or injection strategy affect the timing and spatial location of geochemical processes. Simulations of reactive transport processes in the subsurface often rely on computationally demanding methods. Although these methods provide comprehensive simulation capabilities, they may not provide the efficiency needed for wide exploration of parameter spaces or for simulations over long time scales. The present work combines a vertically integrated model of two-phase flow in porous media with a fully customizable geochemical model to create an efficient vertically integrated method for field-scale simulation of CO2 mineral trapping in basalt. The proposed method provides a platform for extensive field-scale modeling studies that can help address some of the remaining barriers to large-scale implementation of CO2 storage in basalt formations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021WR030626
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


  • basalt
  • carbon mineralization
  • geological carbon storage
  • mineral trapping
  • reactive transport
  • vertical equilibrium


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