David S. Goldberg, Angela S. Slagle and Taro Takahashi
Developing a method for secure sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in geological formations is one of our most pressing global scientific problems. Injection into deep-sea basalt formations provides unique and significant advantages over other potential geological storage options, including: (i) vast reservoir capacities sufficient to accommodate centuries-long U.S. production of fossil fuel CO2 at locations within pipeline distances to populated areas and CO2 sources along the U.S. coast; (ii) sufficiently closed water-rock circulation pathways for the chemical reaction of CO2 with basalt to produce stable and nontoxic (Ca2+, Mg2+ Fe2+)CO3 infilling minerals; and (iii) significant risk reduction for post-injection leakage by geological, gravitational, and hydrate-trapping mechanisms. In particular, CO2 sequestration in established sediment-covered basalt aquifers on the Juan de Fuca plate offer promising locations to securely accommodate more than a century of future U.S. emissions, warranting energized scientific research, technological assessment, and economic evaluation to establish a viable pilot injection program in the future.
Sites investigated for potential deep-sea carbon sequestration (MAR = Mid-Atlantic Ridge; EPR = East Pacific Rise; SWIR = Southwest Indian Ridge.) [Goldberg & Slagle (2009), Energy Procedia 1(1)]
Deep-sea basalt region for CO2 sequestration on Juan de Fuca plate. Red outline shows the region where water depths are ≥2,700 m and sediment thickness is ≥200 m, covering an area of 78,000 km2. Hatched region shows the decrease in area having ≥300 m sediment cover, resulting in a total area of 68,000 km2. Heavy black line indicates the location of a single-channel seismic profile through potential CO2 injection zones (R/V Conrad line 1501, Inset Top Left). [Goldberg, D. S., T. Takahashi, & A. L. Slagle (2008), PNAS 105(29)]
Slagle, A. L., and D. S. Goldberg (2011), Evaluation of ocean crustal sites 1256 and 504 for long-term CO2sequestration, Geophysical Research Letters 38(16).
Goldberg, D. S., and A. L. Slagle (2009), A global assessment of deep-sea basalt sites for carbon sequestration, Energy Procedia 1(1): 3675-3682.
Goldberg, D. S., T. Takahashi, and A. L. Slagle (2008), Carbon dioxide sequestration in deep-sea basalt, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(29): 9920-9925.