, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 1123–1129 | Cite as

An integrated approach to determine sediment quality in areas above CO2 injection and storage in agreement with the requirements of the international conventions on the protection of the marine environment

  • Diana F. Reguera
  • Inmaculada Riba
  • Jesús M. Forja
  • T. Ángel DelValls


The urgent need to reduce the greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere has leaded to study new systems to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2). The sequestration of CO2 in marine geological formations is one of these systems proposed at the international level to effectively reduce the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Although permanent containment is expected, it is necessary to determine the risk of leakage to the marine environment. The integrated model for the evaluation of the environmental quality of the marine environment will contribute to determine the potential environmental pathways and effects that are relevant to the consideration of the potential consequences of the leakage of CO2 and incidental associated substances from the geological formations to the marine environment. In addition, this model will satisfy the requirements for a safe CO2 storage in sub-seabed geological formations set in the international conventions on the protection of the marine environment (1992 OSPAR Convention and 1996 London Protocol). The objective of this paper is to show how to adapt classical methodologies based on a weight-of-evidence approach to establish the impact of CO2 leaks in the sediment quality. It is described how the classical methods should modify their application when acidification occurs related to CO2 leaks being the main potential impact in these areas.


Carbon dioxide Storage Sequestration Integrated method Risk assessment Sediments 



This research was supported by grants funded by the Spanish Ministry of Environment during years 2006 and 2007. Also the Ministry for Science and Innovation partially funded this research through grants CTM2008-06344-C03-03/TECNO y CTM2008-06344-C03-02/TECNO and the ‘Junta de Andalucia’ through Excellence projects RNM-3924. Diana Fernandez de la Reguera thanks the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education for her research fellowship (FPI). Dra. I. Riba thanks the Spanish program ‘Ramón y Cajal’ for supporting her research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana F. Reguera
    • 1
  • Inmaculada Riba
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jesús M. Forja
    • 1
  • T. Ángel DelValls
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y AmbientalesCatedra UNESCO UNIT/WIN/WiCoPPuerto RealSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía, CSICPuerto RealSpain

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