Modelling the two-phase plume dynamics of CO2 leakage into open shallow waters
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A numerical model of two-phase plume developments in a small scale turbulent ocean is proposed and designed as a fundamental study to predict the near field physicochemical impacts and biological risk to the marine ecosystem from CO2 leakage from potential carbon storage locations around the North Sea. New sub-models are developed for bubble formation and drag coefficients using in-situ measurements from videos of the Quantifying and monitoring potential ecosystem Impacts of geological Carbon Storage (QICS) experiment. Existing sub-models such as Sherwood numbers and plume interactions are also compared, verified and implemented into the new model. Observational data collected from the North Sea provides the ability to develop and verify a large eddy simulation turbulence model, limited to situations where the non-slip boundary wall may be neglected. The model is then tested to assimilate the QICS experiment, before being applied to potential leakage scenarios around the North Sea with key marine impacts from pCO2 and pH changes. The most serious leak is from a well blowout, with maximum pH changes of up to -2.7 and changes greater than -0.1 affecting areas up to 0.23 km2. Other scenarios through geological structures would be challenging to detect with pH changes below -0.27.