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Mineralogical and geochemical consequences of the long-term presence of CO2 in natural reservoirs: An example from the Springerville-St. Johns Field, Arizona, and New Mexico, U.S.A

Chemical Geology

By:
, , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2004.12.019

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Abstract

The Springerville-St. Johns CO2 field in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico is one of more than a dozen gas fields developed within the Colorado Plateau and Southern Rocky Mountain region. Extensive travertine (CaCO3) deposits record a long history of CO2 migration and leakage to the atmosphere. The oldest travertine deposits may have formed during the initial filling of the CO2 reservoir when groundwaters exsolved CO2 upon reaching the surface. The youngest travertine deposits are associated with springs on the floor of the Little Colorado River valley, but travertine deposition appears to be insignificant today. Older deposits occur up to 325 m above the valley floor. Geologic relationships suggest travertine deposition began in the late Pleistocene after volcanic activity ended at ???0.3 Ma. Most of the CaCO3 could have been derived from dissolution of the underlying limestones and dolomites. Interactions between the reservoir fluids and rocks were observed in core samples from one of the intervals that produced dry gas. These reactions resulted in the dissolution of carbonate cements and detrital feldspars and the formation of dawsonite and kaolinite. Geochemical simulations suggest that the dawsonite could have been deposited when the CO2 fugacity reached 20 bars and that the kaolinite formed as the CO2 fugacity decreased. Corrosion of drill pipe by acidic waters and a pronounced HCO3 anomaly above the CO2 reservoir provide evidence of a continuing flux of CO2 from depth. CO2 storage occurs primarily as dissolved carbonate species and as gas accumulations. Only a small percentage of the CO2 was sequestered in secondary minerals. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mineralogical and geochemical consequences of the long-term presence of CO2 in natural reservoirs: An example from the Springerville-St. Johns Field, Arizona, and New Mexico, U.S.A
Series title:
Chemical Geology
DOI:
10.1016/j.chemgeo.2004.12.019
Volume
217
Issue:
3-4 SPEC. ISS.
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Chemical Geology
First page:
365
Last page:
385
Number of Pages:
21