Geological CO2 quantified by high-temporal resolution stable isotope monitoring in a salt mine

Frank A, van Geldern R, Myrttinen A, Zimmer M, Barth J, Strauch B (2020)


Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2020

Journal

Book Volume: 10

Article Number: 20671

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-77635-5

Abstract

The relevance of CO2 emissions from geological sources to the atmospheric carbon budget is becoming increasingly recognized. Although geogenic gas migration along faults and in volcanic zones is generally well studied, short-term dynamics of diffusive geogenic CO2 emissions are mostly unknown. While geogenic CO2 is considered a challenging threat for underground mining operations, mines provide an extraordinary opportunity to observe geogenic degassing and dynamics close to its source. Stable carbon isotope monitoring of CO2 allows partitioning geogenic from anthropogenic contributions. High temporal-resolution enables the recognition of temporal and interdependent dynamics, easily missed by discrete sampling. Here, data is presented from an active underground salt mine in central Germany, collected on-site utilizing a field-deployed laser isotope spectrometer. Throughout the 34-day measurement period, total CO2 concentrations varied between 805 ppmV (5th percentile) and 1370 ppmV (95th percentile). With a 400-ppm atmospheric background concentration, an isotope mixing model allows the separation of geogenic (16–27%) from highly dynamic anthropogenic combustion-related contributions (21–54%). The geogenic fraction is inversely correlated to established CO2 concentrations that were driven by anthropogenic CO2 emissions within the mine. The described approach is applicable to other environments, including different types of underground mines, natural caves, and soils.

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APA:

Frank, A., van Geldern, R., Myrttinen, A., Zimmer, M., Barth, J., & Strauch, B. (2020). Geological CO2 quantified by high-temporal resolution stable isotope monitoring in a salt mine. Scientific Reports, 10(1). https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77635-5

MLA:

Frank, Alexander, et al. "Geological CO2 quantified by high-temporal resolution stable isotope monitoring in a salt mine." Scientific Reports 10.1 (2020).

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