Research Theme 3

Monitoring Methods Optimization


A variety of monitoring options are possible at geological sequestration sites

Theme 3: Monitoring Methods Optimization [PDF]

Monitoring optimization of geological carbon sequestration at GCCC focuses on four monitoring zones: in zone, above zone, shallow groundwater, and vadose zone. Our work includes field demonstration, laboratory studies, and assessments.



  • Developed new monitoring tools and approaches: for example, a process-based method of using gas ratios to attribute sources of anomalies and time-lapse compressibility to assess change/no change in fluid in a zone.
  • Analyzed dense monitoring data from 2008 to the present from the research-oriented program at Cranfield, Mississippi.
  • Designed a monitoring plan for two commercial enhanced oil recovery (EOR)projects sourced from anthropogenic (captured) CO2 (Hastings and West Ranch, Texas).
  • Produced assessments of methods for optimization of monitoring approaches including site-specific sensitivity of tools (Hovorka, S. D., Zeidouni, Mehdi, Sava, Diana, Remington, R. L., and Yang, Changbing, in revision, 2014, Site-specific optimization of selection of monitoring technologies, in Carbon dioxide storage in deep saline formations: v. 4, CPL Press and BP.), sites with storage via EOR (Wolaver, B. D., Hovorka, S. D., and Smyth, R. C., 2013, Greensites and brownsites: implications for CO2 sequestration characterization, risk assessment, and monitoring: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, v. 19, p. 49–62,, and statistical methods for optimization of well placement.
  • Transmitted information to industry and regulatory participants (see Outreach, Training, Policy and Regulation Theme for more information).



  • Pioneered pressure surveillance of above-zone monitoring intervals (AZMI) as a robust, commercial method of assessing storage permanence.
  • Provided fit-to-purpose monitoring tools for response to changes (time-lapse compressibility and process-based method) (see Natural Analog Studies Theme for more on process-based method).
  • Improved conceptualization of fluid flow using multiple methods in a cross-well array.
  • Developed a pragmatic approach to monitoring large-scale injection with full industrial participation.
  • Enabled the private sector to develop an economically viable CO2 sequestration industry.
  • Assessed and demonstrated limits, as well as strengths, of monitoring methods that support parsimonious commercial plans.
  • Generated valuable experience using monitoring data for input into a fluid-flow model.

Major Projects

  • SECARB Cranfield 2008–17 [PDF]
    Multiyear, multimillion-ton injection with a focus on the water leg of an EOR project.
  • Monitoring design and implementation for commercial capture to EOR projects [PDF]
    Working with industry partners on commercial projects has sharpened the understanding of optimization of monitoring, including thermal and time-lapse pressure methods.
  • Pressure-based inversion and data assimilation system (PIDAS) [PDF]
    The PIDAS system is developing a harmonic pulse testing technique for detecting leakage from CO2 storage formations and data assimilation and inversion algorithms for incorporating this technique into operational monitoring programs.
  • EPA-CCP site-specific monitoring study [PDF]
    This study undertook a novel assessment of how site-specific properties impact development of monitoring strategies at geological sequestration sites. (See Natural Analog Studies Theme for information on additional monitoring associated with industrial and natural analog sites.)


Click here for "RI0283. Geological CO2 Sequestration Atlas of Miocene Strata, Offshore Texas State Waters"


For a flyer on GCCC mission, activities, impact, and goals, please click here.

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