Analysis of the physicochemical detectability and impacts of offshore CO2 leakage through multi-scale modelling of in-situ experimental data using the PLUME model

Marius Dewar, Umer Saleem, Anita Flohr, Allison Schaap, James Strong, Jianghui Li, Ben Roche, Jonathan M. Bull, Baixin Chen, Jerry Blackford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon storage is required to keep rising global temperatures below 2°C, meanwhile, storage reservoirs monitoring is required for assurance of early detection of potential leakages. Projects such as QICS and STEMM-CCS have used small in-situ experiments to develop detection techniques, tools, and strategies. Given the expense of experiments it is crucial to develop accurate simulation models that replicate observed behaviours and can be extrapolated to many different scenarios. However, anomalies occur between modelled and experimental data, and a key question has been how can the models be improved? This has been approached through the development of a complex modelling system to include the effects of coastal hydrodynamics on very localised experiments, with a new multi-phase leakage model – PLUME, integrated into a high-resolution hydrodynamic model, and linked to a carbonate system for CO2 analysis. The resolution of the nested domains range from 2.5 km at the boundaries to approximately 0.5 - 1.0 m at the release sites. The efficacy of the PLUME model is demonstrated with application to the STEMM-CCS and QICS experimental sites in 120 and 9-12 m water depths respectively. Results show that the newly developed model can predict observed pCO2 and pH changes within acceptable errors. Local effects are shown to be affected greatly by both the resolution and the water currents, with momentary spikes in pCO2 and reductions in pH caused by tidal oscillation. The spatial impacts of the releases are shown to move with the tide, covering a far greater area over a tidal cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103441
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Early online date30 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • bubbles
  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • CCS
  • climate change
  • CO
  • leakage
  • marine
  • monitoring
  • multi-phase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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