Wang, Rui; Guo, Xuehui; Pan, Da; Kelly, James; Bash, Jesse; Sun, Kang; Paulot, Fabien; Clarisse, Lieven; Van Damme, Martin; Whitburn, Simon; Coheur, Pierre-François; Clerbaux, Cathy; Zondlo, Mark
Monthly, high resolution (~2 km) ammonia (NH3) column maps from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) were developed across the contiguous United States and adjacent areas. Ammonia hotspots (95th percentile of the column distribution) were highly localized with a characteristic length scale of 12 km and median area of 152 km2. Five seasonality classes were identified with k-means++ clustering. The Midwest and eastern United States had a broad, spring maximum of NH3 (67% of hotspots in this cluster). The western United States, in contrast, showed a narrower mid-summer peak (32% of hotspots). IASI spatiotemporal clustering was consistent with those from the Ammonia Monitoring Network. CMAQ and GFDL-AM3 modeled NH3 columns have some success replicating the seasonal patterns but did not capture the regional differences. The high spatial-resolution monthly NH3 maps serve as a constraint for model simulations and as a guide for the placement of future, ground-based network sites.
This three-year project, performed by Princeton University in partnership with the University of Minnesota and Brookhaven National Laboratory, examined geologic carbon sequestration in regard to CO2 leakage and potential subsurface liabilities. The research resulted in basin-scale analyses of CO2 and brine leakage in light of uncertainties in the characteristics of leakage processes, and generated frameworks to monetize the risks of leakage interference with competing subsurface resources. The geographic focus was the Michigan sedimentary basin, for which a 3D topographical model was constructed to represent the hydrostratigraphy. Specifically for Ottawa County, a statistical analysis of the hydraulic properties of underlying sedimentary formations was conducted. For plausible scenarios of injection into the Mt. Simon sandstone, leakage rates were estimated and fluxes into shallow drinking-water aquifers were found to be less than natural analogs of CO2 fluxes. We developed the Leakage Impact Valuation (LIV) model in which we identified stakeholders and estimated costs associated with leakage events. It was found that costs could be incurred even in the absence of legal action or other subsurface interference because there are substantial costs of finding and fixing the leak and from injection interruption. We developed a model framework called RISCS, which can be used to predict monetized risk of interference with subsurface resources by combining basin-scale leakage predictions with the LIV method. The project has also developed a cost calculator called the Economic and Policy Drivers Module (EPDM), which comprehensively calculates the costs of carbon sequestration and leakage, and can be used to examine major drivers for subsurface leakage liabilities in relation to specific injection scenarios and leakage events. Finally, we examined the competitiveness of CCS in the energy market. This analysis, though qualitative, shows that financial incentives, such as a carbon tax, are needed for coal combustion with CCS to gain market share. In another part of the project we studied the role of geochemical reactions in affecting the probability of CO2 leakage. A basin-scale simulation tool was modified to account for changes in leakage rates due to permeability alterations, based on simplified mathematical rules for the important geochemical reactions between acidified brines and caprock minerals. In studies of reactive flows in fractured caprocks, we examined the potential for permeability increases, and the extent to which existing reactive transport models would or would not be able to predict it. Using caprock specimens from the Eau Claire and Amherstburg, we found that substantial increases in permeability are possible for caprocks that have significant carbonate content, but minimal alteration is expected otherwise. We also found that while the permeability increase may be substantial, it is much less than what would be predicted from hydrodynamic models based on mechanical aperture alone because the roughness that is generated tends to inhibit flow.
Yang, Yuan; Pan, Ming; Beck, Hylke; Fisher, Colby; Beighley, R. Edward; Kao, Shih-Chieh; Hong, Yang; Wood, Eric
Conventional basin-by-basin approaches to calibrate hydrologic models are limited to gauged basins and typically result in spatially discontinuous parameter fields. Moreover, the consequent low calibration density in space falls seriously behind the need from present-day applications like high resolution river hydrodynamic modeling. In this study we calibrated three key parameters of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model at every 1/8° grid-cell using machine learning-based maps of four streamflow characteristics for the conterminous United States (CONUS), with a total of 52,663 grid-cells. This new calibration approach, as an alternative to parameter regionalization, applied to ungauged regions too. A key difference made here is that we tried to regionalize physical variables (streamflow characteristics) instead of model parameters whose behavior may often be less well understood. The resulting parameter fields no longer presented any spatial discontinuities and the patterns corresponded well with climate characteristics, such as aridity and runoff ratio. The calibrated parameters were evaluated against observed streamflow from 704/648 (calibration/validation period) small-to-medium-sized catchments used to derive the streamflow characteristics, 3941/3809 (calibration/validation period) small-to-medium-sized catchments not used to derive the streamflow characteristics) as well as five large basins. Comparisons indicated marked improvements in bias and Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. Model performance was still poor in arid and semiarid regions, which is mostly due to both model structural and forcing deficiencies. Although the performance gain was limited by the relative small number of parameters to calibrate, the study and results here served as a proof-of-concept for a new promising approach for fine-scale hydrologic model calibrations.
Geochemical and geomechanical perturbations of the subsurface caused by the injection of fluids present the risk of leakage and seismicity. This study investigated how flow of acidic fluids affects hydraulic and frictional properties of fractures using experiments with 3.8 cm-long specimens of Eagle Ford shale, a laminated shale with carbonate-rich strata. In low-pressure flow cells, one set of samples was exposed to an acidic brine and another set was exposed to a neutral brine. X-ray computed tomography and x-ray fluorescence analysis revealed that samples exposed to the acidic brine were calcite-depleted and had developed a porous altered layer, while the other set showed little evidence of alteration. After reaction, samples were compacted and sheared in a triaxial cell that supplied normal stress and differential pore pressure at prescribed sliding velocities, independently measuring friction and permeability. During the initial compaction, the porous altered layer collapsed into fine particles that filled the fracture aperture. This effectively impeded flow and sealed the fracture, resulting in a decrease in fracture permeability by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude relative to the compressed unaltered fractures. During shear, the collapsed layer of fine-grained particles prevented the formation of interlocking micro-asperities resulting in lower frictional strength. With regard to subsurface risks, this study showcases how coupled geochemical and geomechanical processes could favorably seal fractures to inhibit leakage, but also could increase the likelihood of induced seismicity. These findings have important implications for geological carbon sequestration, pressurized fluid energy storage, geothermal energy, and other subsurface technologies.
Complete dataset of pore water chemical parameters measured at the Marsh Resource Meadowlands Mitigation Bank, a tidal marsh within the New Jersey Meadowlands, from March 2011 to April 2012. Analytes measured include dissolved methane, sulfate, dissolved organic carbon, temperature, salinity, and pH. Measurements were conducted using porewater dialysis samplers, and water was sampled from the surface to a depth of 60 cm.
Pan, Da; Gelfand, Ilya; Tao, Lei; Abraha, Michael; Sun, Kang; Guo, Xuehui; Chen, Jiquan; Robertson, G. Philip; Zondlo, Mark A.
This dataset contains spectroscopic simulations, experimental results for the 2202 cm-1 N2O absorption line, and N2O flux measurements shown in "A New Open-path Eddy Covariance Method for N2O and Other Trace Gases that Minimizes Temperature Corrections" by Da Pan, Ilya Gelfand, Lei Tao, Michael Abraha, Kang Sun, Xuehui Guo, Jiquan Chen, G. Philip Robertson, and Mark A. Zondlo. The HITRAN Application Programming Interface (HAPI) with HITRAN 2016 was used for spectroscopic simulations. Experiments were conducted to quantify H2O-broadened half-width at half maximum and validate spectroscopic simulations. N2O flux was measured with both eddy covariance and static chamber methods.
Elevated reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition is a concern for alpine ecosystems, and dry NH3 deposition is a key contributor. Understanding how emission hotspots impact downwind ecosystems through dry NH3 deposition provides opportunities for effective mitigation. However, direct NH3 flux measurements with sufficient temporal resolution to quantify such events are rare. Here, we measured NH3 fluxes at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) during two summers and analyzed transport events from upwind agricultural and urban sources in northeastern Colorado. We deployed open-path NH3 sensors on a mobile laboratory and an eddy covariance tower to measure NH3 concentrations and fluxes. Our spatial sampling illustrated an upslope event that transported NH3 emissions from the hotspot to RMNP. Observed NH3 deposition was significantly higher when backtrajectories passed through only the agricultural region (7.9 ng m-2 s-1) versus only the urban area (1.0 ng m-2 s-1) and both urban and agricultural areas (2.7 ng m-2 s-1). Cumulative NH3 fluxes were calculated using observed, bidirectional modeled, and gap-filled fluxes. More than 40% of the total dry NH3 deposition occurred when air masses were traced back to agricultural source regions. More generally, we identified that 10 (25) more national parks in the U.S. are within 100 (200) km of an NH3 hotspot, and more observations are needed to quantify the impacts of these hotspots on dry NH3 depositions in these regions.
Guo, Xuehui; Pan, Da; Daly, Ryan; Chen, Xi; Walker, John; Tao, Lei; McSpiritt, James; Zondlo, Mark
Gas-phase ammonia (NH3), emitted primarily from agriculture, contributes significantly to reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition. Excess deposition of Nr to the environment causes acidification, eutrophication, and loss of biodiversity. The exchange of NH3 between land and atmosphere is bidirectional and can be highly heterogenous when underlying vegetation and soil characteristics differ. Direct measurements that assess the spatial heterogeneity of NH3 fluxes are lacking. To this end, we developed and deployed two fast-response, quantum cascade laser-based open-path NH3 sensors to quantify NH3 fluxes at a deciduous forest and an adjacent grassland separated by 700 m in North Carolina, United States from August to November, 2017. The sensors achieved 10 Hz precisions of 0.17 ppbv and 0.23 ppbv in the field, respectively. Eddy covariance calculations showed net deposition of NH3 (-7.3 ng NH3-N m−2 s−1) to the forest canopy and emission (3.2 ng NH3-N m−2 s−1) from the grassland. NH3 fluxes at both locations displayed diurnal patterns with absolute magnitudes largest midday and with smaller peaks in the afternoons. Concurrent biogeochemistry data showed over an order of magnitude higher NH3 emission potentials from green vegetation at the grassland compared to the forest, suggesting a possible explanation for the observed flux differences. Back trajectories originating from the site identified the upwind urban area as the main source region of NH3. Our work highlights the fact that adjacent natural ecosystems sharing the same airshed but different vegetation and biogeochemical conditions may differ remarkably in NH3 exchange. Such heterogeneities should be considered when upscaling point measurements, downscaling modeled fluxes, and evaluating Nr deposition for different natural land use types in the same landscape. Additional in-situ flux measurements accompanied by comprehensive biogeochemical and micrometeorological records over longer periods are needed to fully characterize the temporal variabilities and trends of NH3 fluxes and identify the underlying driving factors.
Fractures in geological formations may enable migration of environmentally relevant fluids, as in leakage of CO2 through caprocks in geologic carbon sequestration. We investigated geochemically induced alterations of fracture geometry in Indiana Limestone specimens. Experiments were the first of their kind, with periodic high-resolution imaging using X-ray computed tomography (xCT) scanning while maintaining high pore pressure (100 bar). We studied two CO2-acidified brines having the same pH (3.3) and comparable thermodynamic
disequilibrium but different equilibrated pressures of CO2 (PCO2 values of 12 and 77 bar). High-PCO2 brine has a faster calcite dissolution kinetic rate because of the accelerating effect of carbonic acid. Contrary to expectations, dissolution extents were comparable in the two experiments. However, progressive xCT
images revealed extensive channelization for high PCO2, explained by strong positive feedback between ongoing flow and reaction. The pronounced channel increasingly directed flow to a small region of the fracture, which explains why the overall dissolution was lower than expected. Despite this, flow simulations revealed large increases in permeability in the high-PCO2 experiment. This study shows that the permeability evolution of dissolving fractures will be larger for faster-reacting fluids. The overall mechanism is not because more rock dissolves, as would be commonly assumed, but because of accelerated fracture channelization.