e360 digest


19 Mar 2013: New Carbon Storage Method
Reduces Earthquake Risk, Study Says

A team of researchers says it has demonstrated a method of underground carbon storage that reduces the risk of triggering earthquakes, a safety concern cited by some scientists about the emerging field of carbon capture and sequestration. While often cited as a potentially key option in reducing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, earlier studies have suggested that the use of carbon sequestration technologies in some rock formations can result in leaks that ultimately cause minor tremors. But in a new study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Yale University researchers say that storing carbon in a common type of volcanic rock, known as reactive mafic rock, offers a far safer alternative. According to their findings, injecting carbon into the mafic rock causes a chemical reaction that generates carbon minerals, creating a so-called “mineral-trapping” phenomenon that reduces fluid pressure, distributes the stress load, and increases frictional contact, which in turn minimizes seismic risks. “Not only do the new carbonate minerals safely store CO2, but they possibly have the added benefit of reducing fluid pore pressure and distributing the stress at the injection site, both of which mitigate seismic risk,” said Dave Bercovici, a professor of geophysics at Yale and the lead investigator in the study.


Yale
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
.

SEARCH e360



Donate to Yale Environment 360
Yale Environment 360 Newsletter

CONNECT


ABOUT

About e360
Contact
Submission Guidelines
Reprints

E360 en Español

Universia partnership
Yale Environment 360 articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia, the online educational network.
Visit the site.


DEPARTMENTS

Opinion
Reports
Analysis
Interviews
Forums
e360 Digest
Podcasts
Video Reports

TOPICS

Biodiversity
Business & Innovation
Climate
Energy
Forests
Oceans
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Sustainability
Urbanization
Water

REGIONS

Antarctica and the Arctic
Africa
Asia
Australia
Central & South America
Europe
Middle East
North America

e360 PHOTO GALLERY

“Peter
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation.
View the gallery.

e360 MOBILE

Mobile
The latest
from Yale
Environment 360
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile.

e360 VIDEO

Warriors of Qiugang
The Warriors of Qiugang, a Yale Environment 360 video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.


header image
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland. © Google & TerraMetrics.

e360 SPECIAL REPORT

“Tainted
A three-part series Tainted Harvest looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup.
Read the series.

OF INTEREST



Yale