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Bursting bubbles: can experiments and analogues help stakeholders and the public visualise risks?

Stalker, Linda; Roberts, Jennifer J.; Mabon, Leslie

Authors

Linda Stalker

Jennifer J. Roberts

Leslie Mabon



Abstract

Laboratory experiments, natural analogues and pilot projects have been fundamental in developing scientific understanding of risk and uncertainty from georesource exploration. International research into CO2 and CH4 leakage provide scientific understanding of potential leakage styles, rates and environmental impacts. However, the value of these experiments as a communication tool for stakeholders and the wider public is often overlooked in the form of visual information and comparisons. Quantifiable laboratory experiments, measurement of gas at natural springs or controlled release of CO2 (e.g. Quantifying and Monitoring Potential Ecosystem Impacts of Geological Carbon Storage Project (QICS)) raise awareness and commitment to understanding environmental impacts and geological complexities. Visuals can greatly facilitate communication, and research into public understanding of the subsurface demonstrates that quality and scale of schematics can affect perceived risk. Here we consider how public perception of subsurface activities could be shaped by relevant and applicable research that shares accessible and visually engaging information. Could images showing bubbles of seeping gas, or showcasing monitoring methods and capabilities, help to contextualise risks and geoscientific concepts and shape opinions? Can these materials aid dialogue between the wider scientific community, publics and stakeholders? We propose that future projects could improve dialogue through use of context-appropriate visuals to enhance dialogue on risks, impacts and monitoring of subsurface engineering technologies.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 28, 2018
Journal The APPEA journal: journal of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
Electronic ISSN 2206-8996
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Issue 2
Pages 612-616
Institution Citation STALKER, L., ROBERTS, J.J. and MABON, L. 2018. Bursting bubbles: can experiments and analogues help stakeholders and the public visualise risks? The APPEA journal: journal of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association [online], 58(2), pages 612-616. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1071/AJ17091
DOI https://doi.org/10.1071/AJ17091
Keywords Carbon capture and storage; CH4 and hydrocarbon seepage; CO2 seep; Engineering the subsurface; Dialogue; Field experiment; Geoenergy; Images; Leakage; Natural analogue; Public perception; Research impact; Science communication; Social license; Stakeholder

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