An Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Potential in the Higley Basin, South-central Arizona
KeywordsArizona Geological Survey Open File Reports
Basin and Range Province
MetadataShow full item record
CitationGootee, B.F., 2013, An Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Potential in the Higley Basin, South-Central Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Open File Report, OFR-13-10, 14 p., 6 map plates and 2 appendices.
PublisherArizona Geological Survey (Tucson, AZ)
DescriptionThe Department of Energy (DOE), including its National Energy Technology Laboratory has established national programs to evaluate the technical feasibility of long-term subsurface geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by industrial activity. West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) is a consortium of seven western U.S. States and one Canadian Province that is one of seven regional North American partnerships established to evaluate technical aspects of high-volume CO2 capture and sequestration. Collaborative WESTCARB research programs have included more than 90 public agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations. The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) began work in 2010 on WESTCARB Phase III – Arizona Geological Characterization (California Energy Commission Agreement Number 500-10-024). As part of WESTCARB Phase III, AZGS is evaluating the potential for CO2 sequestration in geologic formations that are below a level of 800 meters (m) (2,625 feet (ft)) depth below land surface (bls). This evaluation is directed at porous and permeable geologic formations with impermeable sealing strata in Cenozoic sedimentary basins in the Basin and Range Province, and Paleozoic sedimentary formations in the Colorado Plateau. An initial screening of Cenozoic sedimentary basins with significant depth and volume below the 800 m bls level resulted in ten candidate basins from a total of 88 basins (Spencer, 2011). This report represents ongoing WESTCARB assessment of CO2 storage potential in Higley basin, one of ten Cenozoic basins in Arizona identified during the preliminary evaluation, and is part of Tasks 2 and 3 of Arizona WESTCARB Phase III. Task 2 consists primarily of characterizing basin structure, stratigraphy, lithology, and, if present the nature of impermeable sealing strata that could effectively prevent upward migration of stored CO2. This task also includes determining the storage capacity of permeable strata below 800 depth (Spencer, 2011). Task 3 is to determine if, and at what depth, saline groundwater exceeds 10,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of total dissolved solids (TDS), characterized in a separate study (Gootee and others, 2012). This concentration represents the threshold above which water is considered non-potable and unsuitable as drinking water (United States Environmental Protection Agency). Individual-basin studies such as this study are intended to provide estimates of the volume of permeable strata that are capped by impermeable strata (with an interface at depths greater than 800 m), and that are saturated with saline groundwater (>10,000 mg/L TDS). Higley basin is a northwest-trending Cenozoic basin in the south-central portion of the Basin and Range and southern margin of the Transition Zone tectonic provinces, with basin-fill sediment up to 3,600 m (12,000 ft) thick (Plate 1). The cities of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and the Gila River Indian Reservation occupy Higley basin. Higley basin is part of the Gila River watersheds, occupied primarily by the Queen Creek tributary. Higley basin is one of ten largest Cenozoic basins in Arizona identified as having CO2 Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) potential (Spencer, 2011) with an estimated volume of 1,492 cubic kilometers (km3) (358 cubic miles (mi3)) of Cenozoic basin-fill sediments. Approximately 574 km3 (138 mi3) of sediments are estimated to lie below a depth of 800 m (2,625 ft).
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North Bounding Coordinate33.5
South Bounding Coordinate33
West Bounding Coordinate-112
East Bounding Coordinate-111
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