The long-term storage security of injected carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential component of geological carbon sequestration operations. In the postinjection phase, the mobile CO2 plume migrates in large part because of buoyancy forces, following the natural topography of the geological formation. The primary trapping mechanisms are capillary and solubility trapping, which evolve over hundreds to thousands of years and can immobilize a significant portion of the mobile CO2 plume. However, both the migration and trapping processes are inherently complex, spanning multiple spatial and temporal scales. Using an appropriate model that can capture both large- and small-scale effects is essential for understanding the role of these processes on the long-term storage security of CO2 sequestration operations. Traditional numerical models quickly become prohibitively expensive for the type of large-scale, long-term modeling that is necessary for characterizing the migration and immobilization of CO2 during the postinjection period. We present an alternative modeling option that combines vertically integrated governing equations with an upscaled representation of the dissolution-convection process. With this approach, we demonstrate the effect of different modeling choices for typical large-scale geological systems and show that practical calculations can be performed at the temporal and spatial scales of interest.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology