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Enrichment of Radon and Carbon Dioxide in the Open Atmosphere of an Australian Coal Seam Gas Field

Environmental Science and Technology, vol.47 pp.3099-3104, 27/02/2013

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Resource information:
Resource IDtait2013
Resource titleEnrichment of Radon and Carbon Dioxide in the Open Atmosphere of an Australian Coal Seam Gas Field
Author(s)Douglas R. Tait, Isaac R. Santos, Damien T. Maher, Tyler J. Cyronak, Rachael J. Davis
Publication/ sourceEnvironmental Science and Technology, vol.47 pp.3099-3104
Date published27/02/2013
Summary text/ abstractAtmospheric radon (ⁱⁱⁱRn) and carbon dioxide (CO₂) concentrations were used to gain insight into fugitive emissions in an Australian coal seam gas (CSG) field (Surat Basin, Tara region, Queensland). ⁱⁱⁱRn and CO₂ concentrations were observed for 24 h within and outside the gas field. Both 222 Rn and CO₂ concentrations followed a diurnal cycle with night time concentrations higher than day time concentrations. Average CO₂ concentrations over the 24-h period ranged from ~390 ppm at the control site to ~467 ppm near the center of the gas field. A ~3 fold increase in maximum ⁱⁱⁱRn concentration was observed inside the gas field compared to outside of it. There was a significant relationship between maximum and average ⁱⁱⁱRn concentrations and the number of gas wells within a 3 km radius of the sampling sites (n = 5 stations; p < 0.05). A positive trend was observed between CO₂ concentrations and the number of CSG wells, but the relationship was not statistically significant. We hypothesize that the radon relationship was a response to enhanced emissions within the gas field related to both point (well heads, pipelines, etc.) and diffuse soil sources. Radon may be useful in monitoring enhanced soil gas fluxes to the atmosphere due to changes in the geological structure associated with wells and hydraulic fracturing in CSG fields.
Library categoriesClimate Change, Extr. Energy Climate, Extr. Energy Radiation
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