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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bohnhoff

Using GIS in Carbon Capture and Storage Projects

We get asked often how GIS and Esri tools can be utilized in carbon capture and storage (CSS) projects. Below are several reasons why an interactive GIS should be used for almost all aspects of a CSS project - from initial site analysis to stakeholder engagement. and regulatory compliance.


GIS site analysis mapping
GIS SIte Selection Analysis in CSS

1. Site Selection and Characterization:

  • Geological Assessment: GIS can be used to analyze geological data to identify suitable sites for carbon storage. Factors such as rock type, porosity, and permeability can be assessed spatially to determine the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide underground.

  • Risk Assessment: GIS helps in evaluating potential risks associated with carbon storage sites, such as proximity to fault lines, existing infrastructure, or environmentally sensitive areas. This assists in making informed decisions about site selection.

  • Ideal Site Analysis: ModelBuilder in ArcGIS Pro can be a powerful tool for identifying and acquiring the ideal site for development. Model factors such as slope, distance to power, tree cover, and wetland analysis.


2. Pipeline Routing and Planning:

  • Optimal Routing: GIS can be employed to find the most efficient and cost-effective routes for pipelines to transport carbon dioxide from capture sources to storage sites. This involves considering factors such as terrain, land use, and minimizing environmental impact.

  • Land Use Planning: GIS allows for the assessment of land use along the pipeline route, helping to avoid conflicts with existing infrastructure, communities, and environmentally sensitive areas.


3. Monitoring and Verification:

  • Remote Sensing: GIS, along with remote sensing technologies, can be used for continuous monitoring of storage sites. This includes the detection of any potential leaks, changes in land use, or alterations in vegetation health.

  • Spatial Data Integration: GIS helps integrate various data sources, such as satellite imagery, ground-based sensors, and modeling outputs, to provide a comprehensive view of the storage site's performance over time.


4. Regulatory Compliance:

  • Compliance Mapping: GIS facilitates the mapping and visualization of regulatory requirements and compliance zones. This helps in ensuring that carbon capture and storage projects adhere to local, regional, and international regulations.

  • ArcGIS Online: ArcGIS Online and Living Atlas should be an integral part of your regulatory analysis by syncing your projects with dynamic city and county GIS data such as landowner parcels, electrical infrastructure, and transportation corridors


5. Public Outreach and Communication:

  • Stakeholder Engagement: GIS is valuable for communicating complex information to stakeholders through interactive maps and visualizations. This aids in public outreach and facilitates engagement with communities and decision-makers.


6. Decision Support Systems:

  • Scenario Analysis: GIS-based decision support systems enable the evaluation of different scenarios, considering multiple factors such as economic, environmental, and social aspects, to make informed decisions about carbon capture and storage projects.


GIS mapping
CCUS Process (GIS)


In summary, GIS and the suite of Esri tools provide a powerful set of tools for spatial analysis and decision-making in carbon capture and storage projects. It helps in the entire lifecycle, from site selection and planning to monitoring and compliance, contributing to the effective and responsible implementation of carbon capture and storage initiatives.


If you are kicking off a CSS project, please don't hesitate to reach out for more information on how GIS can assist.


Esri Business Partner GIS
Platte River Analytics is an Esri Business Partner


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