Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 2339–2364 | Cite as

Potential CO2 intrusion in near-surface environments: a review of current research approaches to geochemical processes

  • Zahra Derakhshan-Nejad
  • Jing Sun
  • Seong-Taek Yun
  • Giehyeon LeeEmail author
Review Paper


Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) plays a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere. However, gas leakage from deep storage reservoirs, which may flow back into near-surface and eventually to the atmosphere, is a major concern associated with this technology. Despite an increase in research focusing on potential CO2 leakage into deep surface features and aquifers, a significant knowledge gap remains in the geochemical changes associated with near-surface. This study reviews the geochemical processes related to the intrusion of CO2 into near-surface environments with an emphasis on metal mobilization and discusses about the geochemical research approaches, recent findings, and current knowledge gaps. It is found that the intrusion of CO2(g) into near-surface likely induces changes in pH, dissolution of minerals, and potential degradation of surrounding environments. The development of adequate geochemical research approaches for assessing CO2 leakage in near-surface environments, using field studies, laboratory experiments, and/or geochemical modeling combined with isotopic tracers, has promoted extensive surveys of CO2-induced reactions. However, addressing knowledge gaps in geochemical changes in near-surface environments is fundamental to advance current knowledge on how CO2 leaks from storage sites and the consequences of this process on soil and water chemistry. For reliable detection and risk management of the potential impact of CO2 leakage from storage sites on the environmental chemistry, currently available geochemical research approaches should be either combined or used independently (albeit in a manner complementarily to one another), and the results should be jointly interpreted.

Graphical abstract


CO2 sequestration CO2 leakage CO2 capture and storage (CCS) Near-surface environment CO2-induced geochemical processes 



This research was supported by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) as “K-COSEM Research Programs” (Project No. 2014001810002) and a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grants funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2017R1A6A1A07015374). JS was supported by the Yonsei University Research Fund (Post Doc. Researcher Supporting Program) of 2014 (Project No. 2014-12-0025).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zahra Derakhshan-Nejad
    • 1
  • Jing Sun
    • 1
  • Seong-Taek Yun
    • 2
  • Giehyeon Lee
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Earth System ScienceYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Division of Environmental Science and EngineeringPOSTECHPohangRepublic of Korea

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