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Open-File Report 2012–1024–I

Geologic Framework for the National Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Storage Resources—Alaska North Slope and Kandik Basin, Alaska

By William H. Craddock, Marc L. Buursink, Jacob A. Covault, Sean T. Brennan, Colin A. Doolan, Ronald M. Drake II, Matthew D. Merrill, Tina L. Roberts-Ashby, Ernie R. Slucher, Peter D. Warwick, Madalyn S. Blondes, Philip A. Freeman, Steven M. Cahan, Christina A. DeVera, and Celeste D. Lohr

Chapter I of
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 PDF (13.6 MB)Abstract

This report presents fourteen storage assessment units (SAUs) from the Alaska North Slope and two SAUs from the Kandik Basin of Alaska. The Alaska North Slope is a broad, north-dipping coastal plain that is underlain by a thick succession of sedimentary rocks that accumulated steadily throughout much of the Phanerozoic during three major tectonic sequences: the Mississippian through Triassic Ellesmerian sequence, the Jurassic through Lower Cretaceous Beaufortian sequence, and the Cretaceous and Tertiary Brookian sequence. Stratigraphic packages associated with all three of these tectonic sequences are suited to geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration. The lower part of the Ellesmerian sequence contains five potential SAUs, two of which have reservoirs within the Endicott Group and three of which have reservoirs within the Lisburne Group. Another potential SAU has sandstone-prone reservoir units interbedded with the upper part of the Ellesmerian Shublik Formation and the Beaufortian Kingak Shale. The Brookian sequence contains eight potential SAUs that have reservoirs that are defined by the various Cretaceous and Tertiary deltaic topset strata of the Colville foreland basin as well as associated slope aprons and submarine turbidite fan complexes.

In east-central Alaska, Kandik Basin is an extension of cratonic North America and straddles the border between Alaska and Canada. The basin contains a section of Neoproterozoic to Mesozoic rocks, which have been multiply deformed during the Phanerozoic. Paleozoic strata within the basin appear to be suited to geologic CO2 sequestration. We defined two SAUs within this interval, which are the Upper Devonian and Mississippian Nation River Formation SAU and the Lower Permian to Lower Cretaceous Step Conglomerate and Tahkandit Limestone SAU.

For each SAU in both of the basins, we discuss the areal distribution of suitable CO2 sequestration reservoir rock. We also characterize the overlying sealing unit and describe the geologic characteristics that influence the potential CO2 storage volume and reservoir performance. These characteristics include reservoir depth, gross thickness, net thickness, porosity, permeability, and groundwater salinity. Case-by-case strategies for estimating the pore volume existing within structurally and (or) stratigraphically closed traps are presented. Although assessment results are not contained in this report, the geologic information included herein was employed to calculate the potential storage volume in the various SAUs. Lastly, in this report, we present the rationale for not conducting assessment work in fifteen sedimentary basins distributed across the Alaskan interior and within Alaskan State waters.

First posted June 11, 2014

Download compressed files (.zip) of the Alaska North Slope (C5001) and Kandik Basin (C5002)

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  • Storage Assessment Units
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    12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
    National Center, MS 913
    Reston, VA 20192
    USGS ERP: Geologic CO2 Sequestration

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    Suggested citation:

    Craddock, W.H., Buursink, M.L., Covault, J.A., Brennan, S.T., Doolan, C.A., Drake, R.M., II, Merrill, M.D., Roberts-Ashby, T.L., Slucher, E.R., Warwick, P.D., Blondes, M.S., Freeman, P.A., Cahan, S.M., DeVera, C.A., and Lohr, C.D., 2014, Geologic framework for the national assessment of carbon dioxide storage resources—Alaska North Slope and Kandik Basin, Alaska, chap. I of Warwick, P.D., and Corum, M.D., eds., Geologic framework for the national assessment of carbon dioxide storage resources: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1024–I, 60 p.,

    ISSN 2331-1258 (online)


    Editors’ Preface

    References Cited


    Report Overview

    Alaska North Slope


    Endicott Group–LCU Truncation SAU C50010101

    Endicott Group–Kayak Shale SAU C50010102

    Lower Ellesmerian SAU C50010103 and Lower Ellesmerian Deep SAU C50010104

    Lower Ellesmerian–LCU Truncation SAU C50010105

    Beaufortian and Upper Ellesmerian SAU C50010106

    Lower Torok Formation SAU C50010107

    Upper Torok Formation SAU C50010108

    Nanushuk Formation SAU C50010109

    Tuluvak Formation SAU C50010110

    Lower Seabee Formation SAU C50010111

    Middle Schrader Bluff SAU C50010112

    Canning Formation SAU C50010113

    Staines Tongue SAU C50010114

    Kandik Basin, Alaska


    Nation River Formation SAU C50020101

    Step Conglomerate and Tahkandit Limestone SAU C50020102

    Basins Not Assessed

    Gulf of Alaska Basin

    Cook Inlet Basin

    Bristol Bay Basin

    Bethel Basin

    Kotzebue-Selawik Basin

    Copper River Basin

    Susitna Basin

    Holitna, Minchumina, Nenana, and Ruby-Rampart Basins

    Innoko Basin

    Galena Basin

    Yukon-Koyukuk Basin

    Kobuk Basin

    Yukon Flats Basin


    References Cited

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