Characterization Of A Co(2) Gas Vent Using Various Geophysical And Geochemical Methods

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Journal Article: Characterization Of A Co(2) Gas Vent Using Various Geophysical And Geochemical Methods

An understanding of gas migration along faults is important in many geologic research fields, such as geothermal exploration, risk assessment, and, more recently, the geologic storage of man-made carbon dioxide (CO(2)). If these gases reach the surface, they typically are discharged to the atmosphere from small areas known as gas vents. In a study of an individual gas vent located in the extinct Latera caldera, central Italy, near-surface geochemical and geophysical surveys were conducted to define the spatial distribution of gas-induced effects in the first few meters of the soil and, by inference, the 3D structure and geometry of the associated gas-permeable fault. Grid surveys and detailed profiles were performed across this vent using time-domain reflectometry (TDR), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), frequency-domain electromagnetics (FDEM), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and gas geochemistry measurements. Detailed profile surveys indicate that the leaking CO(2) has changed the physical, chemical, and biological soil environment of the vent, resulting in significant spatial variations in parameters (e.g., water content and soil electric/dielectric properties) that influence geophysical measurement results. Despite the strong difference in vertical and lateral resolution and depth of investigation, all methods show the same general trends and similar relative variations in the measured physical parameters. TDR and GPR data highlight anomalous shallow lateral variations, whereas FDEM and ERT measurements identify the vertical extension of the anomalous zone. All methods highlight a north-northwest-south-southeast anomaly alignment that we associate with the main fault; FDEM and, to a lesser extent, CO(2) flux also show elongation orthogonal to this direction, implying that the vent may occur at the intersection of two structures. Thus, different near-surface geophysical and geochemical methods can provide important information on faults and their gas-migration characteristics.

E. Pettinelli, S. E. Beaubien, A. Zaja, A. Menghini, N. Praticelli, E. Mattei, A. Di Matteo, A. Annunziatellis, G. Ciotoli and S. Lombardi

Published Journal 
Geophysics, Date Not Provided

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E. Pettinelli,S. E. Beaubien,A. Zaja,A. Menghini,N. Praticelli,E. Mattei,A. Di Matteo,A. Annunziatellis,G. Ciotoli,S. Lombardi. . Characterization Of A Co(2) Gas Vent Using Various Geophysical And Geochemical Methods. Geophysics. (!) .