Field trip a learning experience says PhD student

July 2012: Attendees to the workshop “Building Knowledge for environmental assessment of CO2 Storage: Controlled Releases of CO2 and Natural Systems" are shown in Montanna.

By Shahin Moradi
Geophysics, University of Calgary

The following piece was written by PhD student Shahin Moradi. CMC welcomes submissions from HQP and researchers about their conference experiences. For information on  how to submit email

I am a PhD student in Geophysics at the University of Calgary and I am working on the seismic monitoring of CO2 sequestration as my research which is funded by CMC. I attended the “Building Knowledge for Environmental Assessment of CO2 Storage: Controlled Releases of CO2 and Natural Systems” workshop in July 2012 in Bozeman, Montana. This workshop was one of the “Environmental Impacts of CO2 Storage” workshop series which is held by IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Program (IEAGHG).The aim of the workshop was to present the research results on the controlled release of CO2 and its impacts on the environment. In the controlled release experiment a certain amount of CO2 is injected into the shallow subsurface and different monitoring methods are used to detect the CO2 leakage. There were almost 80 people from a variety of scientific fields, from geology and chemistry to biology to meteorology who came to the workshop from all over the word. Most of the presentations were focused on shallow release experiments carried out world-wide and different methods used for monitoring soil, groundwater, atmosphere, and vegetation after the injection of CO2. It was interesting to learn about different aspects of this experiment and the impacts of CO2 on the environment. There were also some open discussion sessions where the attendees could discuss different topics related to the environmental impacts of the CO2 storage.

The most amazing part of the trip for me was a field trip to the Zero Emissions Research and Technology Centre (ZERT) site. ZERT is a controlled shallow release experiment performed by Montana State University (collaborating partners are Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Montana State U and West Virginia University). The purpose of this experiment is to study the impacts of the injected CO2 on the environment. In this experiment the CO2 is injected into the ground through a pipe which is installed in shallow subsurface. Monitoring is then carried out after the injection. This was an interesting experience to see the experiment at the site since there were lots of presentations in the workshop about the controlled release experiments and this was an opportunity to understand it better.

This trip was a good opportunity for me to meet new people with a lot of experience in the shallow release experiments and learn more about the experiment. Also I introduced CMC to the attendees by presenting a poster and included some information about a possible controlled release experiment at the University of Calgary. This experience could help me in future for getting involved in such experiment at the University of Calgary.

Click below to see poster delivered by Shahin Moradi at conference.

Field site for detection threshold of CO2