New Issue of Rocky Mountain Geology Focuses on Geologic Carbon Dioxide Sequestration

October 26, 2010
Fall 2010 magazine cover
The current issue of Rocky Mountain Geology focuses on carbon storage research.

The fall issue of Rocky Mountain Geology (RMG) contributes to the knowledge base required to deploy successful projects for geologic carbon storage using new research and analyses by University of Wyoming faculty and colleagues.

This special issue includes seven research articles relating to geologic carbon dioxide sequestration in Wyoming. With contributing authors from five different units at UW, including the departments of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Mathematics, Geology and Geophysics, the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute and the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center, the issue covers a broad range of topics relating to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology.

More than 75 percent of the human-induced emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere come from the combustion of fossil fuels, says Guest Editor Carol Frost, professor in the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics.

"While long-term energy strategies may seek to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, in the near term, coal and other fossil energy sources will likely remain in the fuel mix, especially considering that coal currently supplies nearly 50 percent of electricity generation in the United States and 25 percent of the energy supply worldwide," Frost says. "For this reason, the capture and geologic storage of carbon dioxide is increasingly recognized as a crucial pathway to mitigating harmful greenhouse gas emissions."

Among the topics covered:    

-- The impetus for research into geologic carbon sequestration, including the state and national legislative and regulatory environments;

-- Studies of the geologic properties of potential carbon dioxide reservoirs in southwest Wyoming and their overlying sealing cap rocks;

-- Groundwater chemistry contained in targeted sandstone and carbonate reservoirs in southwest Wyoming;

-- An assessment of the impacts of federal carbon legislation on Wyoming's coal, oil, gas, and wind energy sectors.

Research presented in this special issue will contribute important advances of CCS technologies in lowering greenhouse gas emissions and constructing commercial geologic-sequestration projects in the Rocky Mountain West, Frost says.

"As one of the nation's leading suppliers of fossil-fuel energy, Wyoming has an incentive to contribute to solutions for managing anthropogenic carbon-dioxide emissions," she says. "The legislature and state government have provided legal and regulatory frameworks, and the university is characterizing promising sites for underground storage of carbon dioxide. This special issue includes some of UW's first results from support by the Department of Energy to study carbon sequestration in Wyoming."

"There is clearly an appetite for information relating to this topic," says Managing Editor Brendon Orr. "This information is relevant for academics, researchers, students and members of government and industry. RMG's editorial board is grateful to Guest Editors Carol Frost and Anne Jakle for helping us with this endeavor."

More information about the issue, including purchasing instructions, is available on the journal's Web site, The issue is also available for download on GeoScienceWorld at

Members of the RMG editorial board are Professor and Department of Geology and Geophysics Department Head Art Snoke, Emeritus Professor Jay Lillegraven and UW alumna Sarah Garlick.

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