Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Open-File Report 2012-1024

Geologic Framework for the National Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Storage Resources

Edited by Peter D. Warwick and Margo D. Corum

Thumbnail of and link to report PDFAbstract

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (Public Law 110–140) directs the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a national assessment of potential geologic storage resources for carbon dioxide (CO2) and to consult with other Federal and State agencies to locate the pertinent geological data needed for the assessment. The geologic sequestration of CO2 is one possible way to mitigate its effects on climate change.

The methodology used for the national CO2 assessment (Open-File Report 2010-1127; is based on previous USGS probabilistic oil and gas assessment methodologies. The methodology is non-economic and intended to be used at regional to subbasinal scales. The operational unit of the assessment is a storage assessment unit (SAU), composed of a porous storage formation with fluid flow and an overlying sealing unit with low permeability. Assessments are conducted at the SAU level and are aggregated to basinal and regional results.

This report identifies and contains geologic descriptions of SAUs in separate packages of sedimentary rocks within the assessed basin and focuses on the particular characteristics, specified in the methodology, that influence the potential CO2 storage resource in those SAUs. Specific descriptions of the SAU boundaries as well as their sealing and reservoir units are included. Properties for each SAU such as depth to top, gross thickness, net porous thickness, porosity, permeability, groundwater quality, and structural reservoir traps are provided to illustrate geologic factors critical to the assessment. Although assessment results are not contained in this report, the geologic information included here will be employed, as specified in the methodology, to calculate a statistical Monte Carlo-based distribution of potential storage space in the various SAUs. Figures in this report show SAU boundaries and cell maps of well penetrations through the sealing unit into the top of the storage formation. Wells sharing the same well borehole are treated as a single penetration. Cell maps show the number of penetrating wells within one square mile and are derived from interpretations of incompletely attributed well data, a digital compilation that is known not to include all drilling. The USGS does not expect to know the location of all wells and cannot guarantee the amount of drilling through specific formations in any given cell shown on cell maps.

First posted March 30, 2012

For additional information contact:

USGS Energy Resources Program,
Health & Environment
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
National Center, MS 913
Reston, VA 20192
USGS ERP: Geologic CO2 Sequestration

Part of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Warwick, P.D., and Corum, M.D., eds., 2012, Geologic framework for the national assessment of carbon dioxide storage resources: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1024, available at


OFR 2012-1024-A Bighorn Basin

OFR 2012-1024-B Powder River Basin

OFR 2012-1024-C Hanna, Laramie, and Shirley Basins

OFR 2012-1024-D Columbia Basin of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and the Western Oregon-Washington Basins

OFR 2012-1024-E Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, and Wyoming-Idaho-Utah Thrust Belt

OFR 2012-1024-F Arkoma Basin, Kansas Basins, and Midcontinent Rift Basin Study Areas

OFR 2012-1024-G Denver Basin, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska

OFR 2012-1024-H U.S. Gulf Coast

OFR 2012-1024-I Alaska North Slope and Kandik Basin, Alaska

OFR 2012-1024-J Williston Basin, Central Montana Basins, and Montana Thrust Belt Study Areas

OFR 2012-1024-K Permian, Palo Duro Basins, and Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin

OFR 2012-1024-L Geologic Framework for the National Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Storage Resources—South Florida Basin

OFR 2012-1024-M Geologic Framework for the National Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Storage Resources—Southern Rocky Mountain Basins

OFR 2012-1024-N Atlantic Coastal Plain and Eastern Misozoic Rift Basins

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: GS Pubs Web Contact
Page Last Modified: Monday, 18-May-2020 12:11:24 EDT