Human health risk assessment of CO2 leakage into overlying aquifers using a stochastic, geochemical reactive transport approach

Environmental Science & Technology
Adam L AtchleyAlexis K Navarre-Sitchler


Increased human health risk associated with groundwater contamination from potential carbon dioxide (CO2) leakage into a potable aquifer is predicted by conducting a joint uncertainty and variability (JUV) risk assessment. The approach presented here explicitly incorporates heterogeneous flow and geochemical reactive transport in an efficient manner and is used to evaluate how differences in representation of subsurface physical heterogeneity and geochemical reactions change the calculated risk for the same hypothetical aquifer scenario where a CO2 leak induces increased lead (Pb(2+)) concentrations through dissolution of galena (PbS). A nested Monte Carlo approach was used to take Pb(2+) concentrations at a well from an ensemble of numerical reactive transport simulations (uncertainty) and sample within a population of potentially exposed individuals (variability) to calculate risk as a function of both uncertainty and variability. Pb(2+) concentrations at the well were determined with numerical reactive transport simulation ensembles using a streamline technique in a heterogeneous 3D aquifer. Three ensembles with variances of log hydraulic conductivity (σ(2)lnK) of 1, 3.61, and 16 were simulated. Under the conditions simulate...Continue Reading


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Carbon Dioxide
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