Carbon Capture May Cause Earthquakes
Burying carbon dioxide in the ground, considered a promising way to combat climate change, may increase the risk of earthquakes, according to a report. The process, in which liquefied carbon dioxide is stored in caverns, “may have the potential for causing significant induced seismicity,” the National Research Council said today. Injecting wastewater underground from natural-gas fracking may also trigger earthquakes, while using hydraulic fracturing to get trapped gas doesn’t pose a “high risk,” the report found.
Burying carbon may pose a higher risk of quakes than wastewater disposal because it involves the continuous injection of high volumes of liquefied gas at high pressure, said Murray Hitzman, professor of economic geology at the Colorado School of Mines (27653MF) and chairman of the committee that produced the report.