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  • Ryan Pollyea

CO2 (Data) Storage

We started a new project in Spring 2021 to evaluate the potential for CO2 storage in the Dan River Basin of southern Virginia, with support from the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership managed by the Southern States Energy Board. The Dan River Basin has been previously studied for a wide range of geo-energy applications, including oil and gas, geothermal, and uranium. With interest in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) gaining momentum as an engineering-based solution for climate change mitigation, my research group has been tasked with a pre-feasibility assessment of CCS in the Dan River Basin. Rather than proposing a wide-ranging (and expensive) field campaign, we're leveraging our computational expertise in data mining and GIS to aggregate data from previous geo-energy investigatinos in the region. This project is structured as an undergraduate research experience for Thea Torrisi (BS 2021, VT Geosciences), who is rapidly becoming a GIS expert. Thus far, she's integrated the regional surface elevation raster, geologic map of the Dan River Basin, and deep borehole locations and data from exploration in northern North Carolina. When Thea returns from geology field camp, she will be integrating geologic data from the Coles Hill site, basin brine data from the USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database, geothermal temperature maps, point locations for CO2 producers in the region, along with anything else we can scrape from the internet - we're really hoping to find a basement structure contour layer! When complete, we'll be able to identify potential CO2 sinks in the context of CO2 sources, while also identifying data needs that will maximize the value of additional characterization resources.

Thea has done most of this work remotely. She's an excellent geologist, GIS & Zoom guru, and all-around superstar!

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