Dispersion by wind of CO2 leaking from underground storage: Comparison of analytical solution with simulation

Katherine T. Schwarz*, Tadeusz Patzek, Dmitriy B. Silin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The concentration of CO2 in air near the ground needs to be predicted to assess environmental and health risks from leaking underground storage. There is an exact solution to the advection-diffusion equation describing trace gases carried by wind when the wind profile is modeled with a power-law dependence on height. The analytical solution is compared with a numerical simulation of the coupled air-ground system with a source of CO2 underground at the water table. The two methods produce similar results far from the boundaries, but the boundary conditions have a strong effect; the simulation imposes boundary conditions at the edge of a finite domain while the analytic solution imposes them at infinity. The reverse seepage from air to ground is shown in the simulation to be very small, and the large difference between time scales suggests that air and ground can be modeled separately, with gas emissions from the ground model used as inputs to the air model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-430
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Advection-diffusion equation
  • Analytical solution
  • Atmospheric surface layer
  • CO leakage
  • CO storage
  • Numerical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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