Abandoned boreholes - additional source for CO2 emissions?

E. Levintal, H. Zafrir, M. I. Dragila, N. Weisbrod

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Boreholes and wells create complex boundaries at the Earth-atmosphere interface connecting the hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere from below and the atmosphere from above. It is important to understand and quantify the air exchange rate in the presence of at these geometries and subsequently their potential role as a source for greenhouse gases(GHGs) emissions to the atmosphere. Here, we investigate the effect of atmospheric conditions, namely atmospheric pressure and temperature, on air, CO2 and radon transport inside a 110-m deep and 0.5-mwide borehole. Temperature, relative humidity, CO2 and radon(alpha detector) sensors were placed within a cased borehole in northern Israel, and a standard meteorological station was located nearby. All borehole data were logged at high 0.5-min resolution for nine months. Results show that climatic driving forces initiated advective air transport mechanisms that had a similar effect on the CO2 and radon trends within the borehole. Diurnal atmospheric pressure oscillations controlled the daily air transport (barometric pumping)whereas temperature differences between borehole and atmosphere were important on the seasonal scale (thermal-induced convection). In addition, air velocities inside the borehole and CO2emissions to the atmosphere were quantified, fluctuating from 0 and upto ~6 m/min and ~5 g-CO2/min. respectively. This reveals the role of boreholes as additional drivers for GHG emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2019
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
EventAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2019 - San Francisco , United States
Duration: 9 Dec 201913 Dec 2019


ConferenceAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


  • 1626 Global climate models
  • 4902 Anthropogenic effects
  • 4930 Greenhouse gases
  • 4932 Ice cores


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