Feasibility of CO2 sequestration in shallow transition zones

Fang Yang, Baojun Bai, Shari Dunn-Norman, Fen Yang, Ruisong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geological CO 2 sequestration requires suitable storage sites to store CO 2 at a large scale. Shallow aquifers could be a viable regional solution for stationary CO 2 emitters because of their broad distribution, considerable capacity, and the potential low drilling cost associated with the shallow depths. This study introduces a shallow transition zone in which CO 2 can transit from a gaseous phase into supercritical CO 2 within the pressure range for CO 2 injection; thus, considerable storage capacity is expected. The characteristics and major influencing factors of shallow transition zone storage were compared with those of deep storage to determine the feasibility of CO 2 sequestration in shallow transition zones. The transition zone was found to provide a comparable storage capacity, greater storage efficiency, and a higher proportion of stable CO 2 than a deep aquifer. The depth of this transition zone can be as shallow as 537 m for a warm basin and 656 m for a cold basin. At a depth of 600–1000 m, the primary factors affecting CO 2 storage capacity are formation thickness and porosity, with reservoir heterogeneity and depth having lesser effects. Therefore, depth is of less concern when estimating CO 2 storage potential. This work explored the transition zone as an effective new option when seeking means of sequestering CO 2. These results not only establish parameters for CO 2 sequestration in shallow aquifers, but also strengthen the current understanding of CO 2 sequestration in deep aquifers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1049
Number of pages15
JournalGreenhouse Gases: Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • ISGS
  • feasibility
  • carbon sequestration
  • brine extraction
  • shallow aquifer
  • transition zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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