We evaluated the pore volume available for a specific potential geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) storage site in the Upper Ordovician Queenston Formation near the AES Corporation Cayuga coal-fired power plant in Tompkins County, New York. Core data collected 25 mi (40 km) from the plant reveal that the Queenston Formation is a relatively homogeneous fine- to medium-grained sandstone with hematite cement. Seismic and core data indicate that the formation was deposited in a fluvial system with mobile channels and has thickness maxima that trend north-northwest.
Porosity is a major factor affecting geologic CO2 storage potential, and it is important to understand discrepancies among porosity measured from core plug, neutron porosity, density-derived porosity, and thin-section point count values. Relative to core plug–derived porosity values, the neutron porosity log is more reliable than the electron density porosity values. Thin sections reveal that hematite cement is the primary factor affecting porosity variability.
Seismic, core, and well-log data suggest that in a 25-mi2 (65-km2) area surrounding this power plant, the Queenston Formation can sequester 18 million metric tons (±11 million metric tons) of CO2 emission from the Cayuga power plant (∼8 yr of CO2 output, with a range of 3–12 yr), although many uncertainties must be better constrained to obtain a more accurate estimate. Because the Queenston Formation near the Cayuga power plant is relatively homogeneous, most of the formation at this location offers the potential for CO2 storage in its pore space.