Frictional Instabilities and Carbonation of Basalts Triggered by Injection of Pressurized H 2 O- and CO 2 - Rich Fluids

Piercarlo Giacomel, Elena Spagnuolo, Manuela Nazzari, Andrea Marzoli, François Passelegue, Nasrrddine Youbi, Giulio Di Toro
Geophysical Research Letters 2018 June 28, 45 (12): 6032-6041
The safe application of geological carbon storage depends also on the seismic hazard associated with fluid injection. In this regard, we performed friction experiments using a rotary shear apparatus on precut basalts with variable degree of hydrothermal alteration by injecting distilled H2 O, pure CO2 , and H2 O + CO2 fluid mixtures under temperature, fluid pressure, and stress conditions relevant for large-scale subsurface CO2 storage reservoirs. In all experiments, seismic slip was preceded by short-lived slip bursts. Seismic slip occurred at equivalent fluid pressures and normal stresses regardless of the fluid injected and degree of alteration of basalts. Injection of fluids caused also carbonation reactions and crystallization of new dolomite grains in the basalt-hosted faults sheared in H2 O + CO2 fluid mixtures. Fast mineral carbonation in the experiments might be explained by shear heating during seismic slip, evidencing the high chemical reactivity of basalts to H2 O + CO2 mixtures.

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