In AIMS3, we will investigate CCS in altered oceanic crust using a phased approach: first, we will characterize oceanic sites geophysically and geologically on repeated cruises, building on previous regional work by the PI group (and others). Second, at a site on the Reykjanes Ridge, a slowly spreading cold ridge flank, we will conduct an active demonstration experiment in Phase 2, releasing CO2 into the subsurface. Third, we will monitor each scenario with a suite of existing and new refined sensors and platforms to detect, attribute, and quantify experimental CO2 release to study storage efficiency and assess potential environmental hazards associated with CCS. Fourth, the new low-cost sensor systems will fully characterize carbonate chemistry and can be used as standard techniques in CCS applications outside our project. Finally, our results will be scientifically evaluated and projected into broader scenarios using numerical modeling approaches. This will serve to define best practice recommendations and will be part of a German roadmap for marine CCS applications. All results will be shared as open access data and made available following the FAIR data principle (Wilkinson et al., 2019).

AIMS3 has the following objectives:

  • Conduct a CO2 injection experiment in deep water to evaluate the potential for storing CO2 in basalt (likely in a second phase of the project);
  • Develop a suite of cost-effective tools to identify, detect, and quantify CO2 leakage from a CCS reservoir beneath the seafloor;
  • Conduct demonstration experiments in the Baltic Sea using novel modular approaches and sensors for CO2 leak detection and quantification;
  • Provide documented best practices for MORF offshore CCS site selection and operation and complete knowledge transfer to industry and regulatory stakeholders through education and training programs and public outreach, to build confidence in offshore CCS.
Principle of a ridge-flank observatory using North Pond as an example. Sediments in ridge flank half-trenches create lateral flow through the ocean crust by circulating seawater. In the process, the crust absorbs carbon (DIC and DOC) (Shah Walter et al., 2018).