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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2016-281
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
08 Jun 2016
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.
Brine migration along vertical pathways due to CO2 injection – a simulated case study in the North German Basin with stakeholder involvement
Alexander Kissinger1, Vera Noack2, Stefan Knopf2, Wilfried Konrad3, Dirk Scheer3, and Holger Class1 1Department of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems, University Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 61, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover
3DIALOGIK, Lerchenstraße 22, 70176 Stuttgart, Germany
Abstract. Brine migration into potential drinking water aquifers due to the injection of CO2 into deep saline aquifers is one of the potential hazards associated with the Carbon Capture and Storage technology (CCS). Thus, in any site selection process, an important criterion should be the evaluation of brine migration resulting from the injection. We follow an interdisciplinary approach using participatory modeling to incorporate stakeholder opinion at an early stage in order to discuss and evaluate model conception and relevant scenarios for brine migration. The basis for this approach is a realistic (but not real) on-shore site in the North German Basin with characteristic geological features for that region. Our model fully couples flow in shallow and in deep saline aquifers including variable-density transport of salt and a realistic description of the top surface boundary conditions with groundwater recharge and rivers. We investigate different scenarios to identify relevant system components. Further, different model simplifications are compared and discussed with respect to the relevant physical processes and the expected data availability, i.e. to find a model as complex as necessary and as simple as possible. It becomes clear that the initial salt distribution plays a key role as to where noticeable concentration changes may occur. Also the boundary conditions are important for determining the amount of vertically displaced brine. Simplifications in the model setup, such as neglecting variable-density flow or simplifying the complex geometry may prove valid options given sparse data availability.

Citation: Kissinger, A., Noack, V., Knopf, S., Konrad, W., Scheer, D., and Class, H.: Brine migration along vertical pathways due to CO2 injection – a simulated case study in the North German Basin with stakeholder involvement, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2016-281, 2016.
Alexander Kissinger et al.
Alexander Kissinger et al.

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Short summary
Stakeholder participation in numerical modeling of brine migration due to injection of CO2 into deep saline aquifers has proven a valuable approach to identifying and quantifying the potential hazard of groundwater contamination with salt. This paper (i) reports the process of participatory modeling and (ii) discusses essential findings showing that notable increases in salt concentrations are confined to regions where they were already high a priori and where barrier layers are discontinuous.
Stakeholder participation in numerical modeling of brine migration due to injection of CO2 into...
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