Benthic megafauna and CO2 bubble dynamics observed by underwater photography during a controlled sub-seabed release of CO2

Kita, J; Stahl, H; Hayashi, M; Green, T; Watanabe, Y; Widdicombe, S. 2015 Benthic megafauna and CO2 bubble dynamics observed by underwater photography during a controlled sub-seabed release of CO2. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 38. 202-209. 10.1016/j.ijggc.2014.11.012

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2014.11.012

Abstract/Summary

In 2012, a controlled sub-seabed release of carbon dioxide (CO2) was conducted in Ardmucknish Bay, a shallow (12 m) coastal bay on the west coast of Scotland. During the experiment, CO2 gas was released 12 m below the seabed for 37 days, causing significant disruption to sediment and water carbonate chemistry as the gas passed up through the sediment and into the overlying water. One of the aims of the study was to investigate how the impacts caused by leakage from geological CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) could be detected and quantified in the context of natural heterogeneity and dynamics. To do this underwater photography was used to analyze (i) the benthic megafaunal response to the CO2 release and (ii) the dynamics of the CO2 bubble streams, emerging from the seabed into the overlying water column. The frequently observed megafauna species in the study area were Virgularia mirabilis (Cnidaria), Turritella communis (Mollusca), Asterias rubens (Echinodermata), Pagurus bernhardus (Crustacea), Liocarcinus depurator (Crustacea), and Gadus morhua (Osteichthyes). No discernable abnormal behavior was observed for these megafauna, in any of the zones investigated, during or after the CO2 release. Time-lapse photography revealed that the intensity and presence of the CO2 bubble plume was affected by the tides, with the most active bubbling seen at low tides and the larger hydrostatic pressure at high tide suppressing CO2 bubbling from the seabed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Offshore CO2 storage Leakage Environmental impact Benthic megafauna
Subjects: Chemistry
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 09 Jul 2015 10:53
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:13
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6442

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