Petrophysical and geochemical properties of Columbia River flood basalt: Implications for carbon sequestration

TitlePetrophysical and geochemical properties of Columbia River flood basalt: Implications for carbon sequestration
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsZakharova N., Goldberg D.
Secondary AuthorsSullivan C.
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, and Geosystems
KeywordsColumbia River basalt; borehole geophysics; carbon sequestration; geochemical logging.

This study presents borehole geophysical data and sidewall core chemistry from the Wallula Pilot Sequestration Project in the Columbia River flood basalt. The wireline logging data were reprocessed,
core-calibrated and interpreted in the framework of reservoir and seal characterization for carbon dioxide storage. Particular attention is paid to the capabilities and limitations of borehole spectroscopy for chemical characterization of basalt. Neutron capture spectroscopy logging is shown to provide accurate concentrations for up to 8 major and minor elements but has limited sensitivity to natural alteration in fresh-water basaltic reservoirs. The Wallula borehole intersected 26 flows from 7 members of the Grande Ronde formation. The logging data demonstrate a cyclic pattern of sequential basalt flows with alternating porous flow tops (potential reservoirs) and massive flow interiors (potential caprock). The log-derived apparent porosity is extremely high in the flow tops (20–45%), and considerably overestimates effective porosity obtained from hydraulic testing. The flow interiors are characterized by low apparent porosity (0–8%) but appear pervasively fractured in borehole images. Electrical resistivity images show diverse volcanic textures and provide an excellent tool for fracture analysis, but neither fracture density nor log-derived porosity uniquely correlate with hydraulic properties of the Grande Ronde formation. While porous flow tops in these deep flood basalts may offer reservoirs with high mineralization rates, long leakage migration paths, and thick sections of caprock for CO2 storage, a more extensive multiwell characterization would be necessary to assess lateral variations and establish sequestration capacity in this reservoir.