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Mapping the mineral resource base for mineral carbon-dioxide sequestration in the conterminous United States

February 27, 2009

This database provides information on the occurrence of ultramafic rocks in the conterminous United States that are suitable for sequestering captured carbon dioxide in mineral form, also known as mineral carbon-dioxide sequestration.

Mineral carbon-dioxide sequestration is a proposed greenhouse gas mitigation technology whereby carbon dioxide (CO2) is disposed of by reacting it with calcium or magnesium silicate minerals to form a solid magnesium or calcium carbonate product. The technology offers a large capacity to permanently store CO2 in an environmentally benign form via a process that takes little effort to verify or monitor after disposal. These characteristics are unique among its peers in greenhouse gas disposal technologies.

The 2005 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage suggested that a major gap in mineral CO2sequestration is locating the magnesium-silicate bedrock available to sequester the carbon dioxide. It is generally known that silicate minerals with high concentrations of magnesium are suitable for mineral carbonation. However, no assessment has been made in the United States that details their geographical distribution and extent, nor has anyone evaluated their potential for use in mineral carbonation.

Researchers at Columbia University and the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a digital geologic database of ultramafic rocks in the conterminous United States. Data were compiled from varied-scale geologic maps of magnesium-silicate ultramafic rocks. The focus of our national-scale map is entirely on ultramafic rock types, which typically consist primarily of olivine- and serpentine-rich rocks. These rock types are potentially suitable as source material for mineral CO2 sequestration.

Publication Year 2009
Title Mapping the mineral resource base for mineral carbon-dioxide sequestration in the conterminous United States
DOI 10.3133/ds414
Authors S. C. Krevor, C. R. Graves, B. S. Van Gosen, A. E. McCafferty
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Data Series
Series Number 414
Index ID ds414
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization U.S. Geological Survey