My research focuses on reservoir characterization and risk assessment for CO2 geologic storage. I am particularly interested in developing better understanding of fractured media, and evaluating induced seismicity risks from underground fluid injections. I use borehole geophysical data for petrophysical, geochemical and geomechanical analysis, and integrate them with core and/or large-scale survey information to characterize geologic formations across multiple scales. Using advanced borehole techniques, I aim to 1) advance our understanding of unconventional reservoir systems, such as igneous rocks and fractured formations; 2) develop characterization and monitoring techniques for CO2 storage, and 3) improve our knowledge of in situ stress distribution to aid in predicting induced seismicity.
Carbon Sequestration in Unconventional Reservoirs
Global warming is one of the primary environmental challenges of our generation. Carbon capture and storage (CCS), also known as CO2 sequestration, provides a vital option for mitigating climate change by reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. CCS involves collecting anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and injecting them underground for permanent storage in geologic formations. To broaden and diversify storage opportunities, I am looking at unconventional reservoir such as volcanic rocks, fractured formations and moderate permeability aquifers. My research focuses on understanding petrophysical, geomenchanical and geochemical properties of such reservoirs using borehole geophysical data collected in a variety of geologic settings, e.g. extrusive continental flood basalt (Columbia River Plateau), igneous intrusion (the Palisades Sill) and fractured aquifers in the Newark Rift Basin.
In Situ Stress and Induced Seismicity
An emerging concern for large-scale CO2 storage, as well as for other types of underground fluid injections, is the risk of induced seismicity. The basic mechanism of inducing earthquakes by fluid injection is known, but prediction remains unattainable due to the high complexity of natural reservoir systems, and a lack of detailed information about stress distribution in the subsurface. I am currently working on geomechanical evaluation of formation stability and in situ stresses in the Newark Rift basin, located within the New York Metropolitan area, where understanding seismic hazard is particularly important due to high population density.