Reviews and synthesis: Carbon capture and storage monitoring – an integrated biological, biophysical and chemical approach

Natalie Hicks, Henrik Stahl, Peter Taylor, Unni Vik, Kjetill Jakobsen, E Ladoukakis, Frangiskos Kolisis, Joonsang Park

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Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a developing technology that seeks to mitigate against the impact of increasing anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) production by capturing CO2 from large point source emitters. After capture the CO2 is compressed and transported to a reservoir where it is stored for geological time scales. Potential leakages from CCS projects, where stored CO2 migrates through the overlaying sediments, are likely to have severe implications on marine benthic and marine ecosystems. Nonetheless, prokaryotic response to elevated CO2 concentrations has been suggested as one of the first detectable warnings if a CO2 leakage should occur. Applying properties of prokaryotic communities (i.e. community composition and metabolic status) as a novel CO2 monitoring application is highly reliable within a multidisciplinary framework, where CO2 driven changes in microbial assemblagesdeviations from the baseline can easily be identified.

In this paper we review current knowledge about the impact of CO2 leakages on marine sediments from a multidisciplinary-based monitoring perspective. We focus on aspects from the fields of biology, geophysics, and chemistry, and discuss a case study example. We argue the importance of an integrative multidisciplinary approach, incorporating biogeochemistry, geophysics, microbial ecology and modelling, with a particular emphasis on metagenomic techniques and novel bioinformatics, for future CCS monitoring. Within this framework, we consider that an effective CCS monitoring programme will ensure that large-scale leakages with potentially devastating effects for the overlaying ecosystem are avoided. Furthermore, the multidisciplinary approach suggested here for CCS monitoring is generic, and can be adapted to other systems of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8909-8937
Number of pages28
JournalBiogeosciences Discussions
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2015


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