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The CO2-Upslope project focuses on studying the potential for migration-assisted CO2 storage in sloping, open aquifers. In such aquifers, there may be no single large trap, but CO2 is slowly migrating upwards in the aquifer, and gradually depleted by storage mechanisms like dissolution, residual trapping and small-scale structural trapping in irregularities of the confining caprock.

Contact persons

Three simulations of CO2 migration
Simulated CO2 migration from three different injection points, on a model of the Gassum field with a stochastic realization of the top surface.

The project is a collaboration between the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo, SINTEF Digital, and GEUS, Denmark. The Gassum Formation, a sloping open aquifer in Skagerak, south of Norway, is used as a case study, utilizing data from multiple 2D seismic surveys.

The complete scope of the project is described at the official web page at UiO, and addresses a range of CO2 trapping mechanisms.

SINTEF Digital focuses on assessing the potential for structural trapping and plume retardation by caprock topographical features. The first step involves reconstructing the formation top surface from available data. Since the available 2D seismic lines are insufficient to uniquely describe the top surface, stochastic ensembles of top surface topographies are generated to remain consistent with the input data. Thin-plate splines, Gaussian fields, and explicit feature modeling are employed for this purpose.

Construction of a top surface
Step-wise construction of a realization of the Gassum top surface based on 2D seismic lines, starting with a deterministic trend surface and adding small-scale detail and random minor faults.


In a second step, vertical-equilibrium models are used to simulate CO2 injection and long-term migration on these realizations. The simulation results are then used to provide statistics on migration distances, speeds and small-scale structural trapping, and how these quantities varies depending on modeling assumptions.

Simulation of plume migration
Simulating long-term CO2 plume migration on one realization of the Gassum model, tracing the advancement of the plume tip, and studying the impact of including small-scale detail and faults in the top surface.


Overall, this project outlines a workflow to assess the potential and suitability of open sloping aquifers for CO2 storage, considering limited data availability.


Key Factors

Project duration

2017 - 2019

Project type

Researcher project


Research Council of Norway, grant no. 268512


Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo

Petroleum University of Technology, Iran

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Denmark

SINTEF Digital

Project Team