New SUCCESS PhD: How to detect CO2 leakage on the seafloor?

FME SUCCESS PhD Hvidevold photo: Fredrik TorkildsenHilde Kristine Hvidevold got her PhD on the thesis: "Quantifying Uncertainties When monitoring marine environments in connection with geological storage of CO2", Friday 26 June 2015, at the University of Bergen

Climate change and global warming is one of the greatest challenges humanity has had to address, and man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions are contributing to this global warming.

The future increase in world population and welfare will lead to a global increase in the worlds demand for energy. Fossil fuels, like coal, oil and gas will remain the dominant energy source for years to come.



One of several proposed measures to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions is to store anthropogenic CO2 in deep geological formations far beneath the seabed. Storing CO2 in deep reservoirs will increase the potential of leakage of CO2 into the sea. Although the probability of leakage is very small, one can never be one hundred percent sure. Therefore it is important to have in place effective methods to discover a leak at the seafloor, so that potential measures can be taken.

To detect leaks, it is important to understand how CO2 behave in the ocean, and we can do this by using a model that describe how CO2 leaks from the seafloor and how CO2 dissolves in the ocean. This model consists of two equations having unknown values, and these values need to be identified by experiments. The work of the thesis determines the uncertainty in these model values ​​for a given experiment, showing how uncertainties affect the answer that the model provides. In addition, it was investigated how to design a new experiment in order to minimize uncertainties.

Hvidevold attending the FME SUCCESS Fall seminar 2013, photo FME SUCCESS

Hvidevold presenting her work at the TED session bat FME SUCCESS Fall seminar 2013 (from left: Rohaldin Miri, Anja Sundal, Karin Landschulze, center manager Arvid Nøttvedt, Hilde Kristine Hvidevold, Beyene Girma Haile, Javad Naseryan-Moghadam)

The thesis shows how information about potential leakage areas can be combined with simulation data on CO2 distribution on the seabed, to design a program for monitoring. This can be utilized and aid in deciding how to place sensors or take simple measurements on the seabed, so that the probability of detecting a leak is maximized. Further, the method contribute to reduce costs related to monitoring of CO2 reservoirs.


Hilde Kristine Hvidevold is born in 1985 and grew up on Halsnøy in Kvinnherad. She holds a master's degree in applied mathematics from the University of Bergen from 2009. After her Master's degree, she started on her thesis as a University fellow at UiB, and her PhD has been a part of the FME SUCCESS Centre for CO2 storage. She has been supervised by Guttorm Alendal, Truls Johannessen and Trond Mannseth at UiB, read more about about Hvidevold in Norwegian at UiB web site

Hvidevold currently works as engineer at Sweco


Please find more information on FME SUCCESS and our activities on marine monitoring in the Centre Annual report 2014




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