Regional-scale advective, diffusive, and eruptive transport dynamics of CO2 and brine within a natural analogue in the northern Paradox Basin, Utah, were explored by integrating numerical simulations with soil CO2 flux measurements. Deeply sourced CO2 migrates through steeply dipping fault zones to the shallow aquifers predominantly as an aqueous phase. Dense CO2-rich brine mixes with regional groundwater, enhancing CO2 dissolution. Linear stability analysis reveals that CO2 could be dissolved completely within only ~500 years. Assigning lower permeability to the fault zones induces fault-parallel movement, feeds up-gradient aquifers with more CO2, and impedes down-gradient fluid flow, developing anticlinal CO2 traps at shallow depths (<300 m). The regional fault permeability that best reproduces field spatial CO2 flux variation is estimated 1 × 10-17 ≤ kh < 1 × 10-16 m2 and 5 × 10-16 ≤ kv < 1 × 10-15 m2. The anticlinal trap serves as an essential fluid source for eruption at Crystal Geyser. Geyser-like discharge sensitively responds to varying well permeability, radius, and CO2 recharge rate.
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©2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science