Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 12034–12052 | Cite as

U-tube based near-surface environmental monitoring in the Shenhua carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) project

  • Qi Li
  • Ranran Song
  • Hui Shi
  • Jianli Ma
  • Xuehao Liu
  • Xiaochun Li
Research Article


The CO2 injected into deep formations during implementation of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) technology may leak and migrate into shallow aquifers or ground surfaces through a variety of pathways over a long period. The leaked CO2 can threaten shallow environments as well as human health. Therefore, almost all monitoring programs for CCS projects around the world contain near-surface monitoring. This paper presents a U-tube based near-surface monitoring technology focusing on its first application in the Shenhua CCS demonstration project, located in the Ordos Basin, Inner Mongolia, China. First, background information on the site monitoring program of the Shenhua CCS demonstration project was provided. Then, the principle of fluid sampling and the monitoring methods were summarized for the U-tube sampler system, and the monitoring data were analyzed in detail. The U-tube based monitoring results showed that the U-tube sampler system is accurate, flexible, and representative of the subsurface fluid sampling process. The monitoring indicators for the subsurface water and soil gas at the Shenhua CCS site indicate good stratification characteristics. The concentration level of each monitoring indicator decreases with increasing depth. Finally, the significance of this near-surface environmental monitoring technology for CO2 leakage assessments was preliminarily confirmed at the Shenhua CCS site. The application potential of the U-tube based monitoring technology was also demonstrated during the subsurface environmental monitoring of other CCS projects.


Shenhua CCS demonstration project Near-surface monitoring Environmental monitoring U-tube Leakage assessment 



Carbon dioxide capture and storage


Differential InSAR


Enhanced oil recovery


High-density polyethylene


Synthetic aperture radar interferometry


Oxidation-reduction potential


Permanent scatterer InSAR


Total dissolved solids


Total inorganic carbon


Total organic carbon


Vertical seismic profiling



We would like to thank all anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and good suggestion on the manuscript, as these comments and suggestion led us to the very improvement of the current work.

Author contributions

Qi, Xuehao, and Xiaochun designed the shallow sampling system. Ranran and Xuehao performed the in-situ sampling. Qi, Ranran, and Jianli analyzed the results of sampling data. Qi and Hui wrote the paper. All authors discussed and approved the manuscript.

Funding information

We acknowledge the funding support from the China CDM Fund (Environmental Impact Assessment of CCS; Grant no. 2012087), NZEC IIA (Risk Management and Public Acceptance of CCS Pilot Project), China-Australia Geological Storage of CO2 (CAGS), and National Key Technology R&D Program (Grant no. 2014BAC18B00).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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