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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: ECO2 sub-seabed CO2 Storage: analysis of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Data - Dormant

Currently Active: 

ECO2 EU Framework 7 project. May 2011 – May 2015

Carbon capture and storage is a key technology for the essential reduction of future CO2 emissions from power generation.

Little is currently known about the short and long-term impacts of potential CO2 leakage on marine ecosystems, even though CO2 has been in sub-seabed storage beneath the North Sea for 13 years (Sleipner), and for 1 year in the Barents Sea (Snohvit). Within the ECO2 project, the University of Southampton Work Package 1, will focus on imaging potential gas-release structures at Sleipner using data from Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) acquired during several cruises, including the RV James Cook in 2012. This project will develop monitoring methodologies that can be applied to detect and quantify the fluxes of formation fluids, natural gas, and possible CO2 leakage from storage sites, and to develop appropriate and effective monitoring strategies.

AUV work at Sleipner will map seafloor topography in very high detail (0.5x0.5 m) over a large area (8 x 5 km), acquire high-resolution sub-bottom profiling data (Chirp), map the reflectivity of the seafloor using sidescan sonar, acoustically detect bubble streams in the water column, and obtain high resolution photography imagery across areas of potential leakage. Multibeam and sidescan data will document surface changes in sediment properties, while Chirp data will be inverted for physical property information including attenuation and acoustic impedance thereby linking physical properties to gas content and sediment elastic properties. This work is being completed as part of ECO2 - a large EU project involving 27 partners.

Project website:

Staff involved at University of Southampton/NOCS with ECO2 Workpackage 1 include:

Professor Jon Bull
Professor Ian Wright
Dr Tom Gernon
Melis Cevatoğlu (PhD Student).

Long range, deep diving, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)
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