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College of Arts & Sciences
Earth Sciences and Resources Institute (ESRI-SC)

Carbon Sequestration

Geologic Characterization of the South Georgia Rift Basin for Source Proximal CO2 Storage

Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon Capture and Storage is the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere into carbon storage areas such as subsurface rock layers. CCS is also referred to as "carbon capture and sequestration" but when added to an enhanced fuel recovery component, is referred to as carbon capture, utilization and storage, or CCUS.

ESRI-SC's Role

ESRI-SC has been the principal investigator in a U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) funded project valued at $9.9 million aimed at increasing scientific understanding about the potential of promising geologic formations to safely and permanently store carbon dioxide in South Carolina.

SCO2 Project

ESRI-SC and partners have been evaluating the feasibility of CO2 storage in the Jurassic/Triassic (J/TR) saline formations of the buried South Georgia Rift Basin (SGR) in order to provide data and analyses to the NATCARB database. ESRI-SC assembled an experienced research team of researchers and students and developed a three phase characterization approach: (1) preliminary geologic storage assessment based on existing data and analyses, (2) regional seismic characterization of target CO2 storage formation, and (3)site-specific characterization via drilling, coring, and logging a geotechnical test hole.


ESRI-SC is seeking partnerships in building a large research consortium to expand our study area in the SE US, a region with a significant number of CO2 sources and substantial potential for CO2 storage. This consortium of academic institutions and industrial partners will develop new methodologies for short/ long-term injection and monitoring of CO2 plumes and advanced methodologies for efficient carbon capture and utilization leading to new strategies for safe CCUS in an ever increasing CO2 regulatory environment.

South Carolina CO2 Partners

  • Department of Energy (NETL)
  • Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences (USC)
  • South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • South Carolina Geological Survey
  • Illinois State Geological Survey
  • Weatherford Labs
  • Bay Geophysical
  • Schlumberger Carbon Services
  • Southern Company