Satellite-based measurements of surface deformation reveal fluid flow associated with the geological storage of carbon dioxide
Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data, gathered over the In Salah CO2 storage project in Algeria, provide an early indication that satellite-based geodetic methods can be effective in monitoring the geological storage of carbon dioxide. An injected mass of 3 million tons of carbon dioxide from one of the first large-scale carbon sequestration efforts, produces a measurable surface displacement of approximately 5 mm/year. Using geophysical inverse techniques, we are able to infer flow within the reservoir layer and within a seismically detected fracture/fault zone intersecting the reservoir. We find that, if we use the best available elastic Earth model, the fluid flow need only occur in the vicinity of the reservoir layer. However, flow associated with the injection of the carbon dioxide does appear to extend several kilometers laterally within the reservoir, following the fracture/fault zone.