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How to interpret the Mineral Storage Atlas?


The Mineral Storage Atlas serves as a quick tool to map out potential sites where the Carbfix technology could be applied worldwide. It is combined from multiple geological datasets containing mafic, intermediate and ultramafic rock types (e.g. volcanic basalts, young oceanic ridges, large igneous provinces, ophiolites) - formations known to contain the major minerals that promote reactions with dissolved CO2 and form solid carbonates. These include both surface and underground formations. The Atlas serves as a first order indicator for the geological feasibility of the Carbfix technology. It does not consider other necessary factors such as permeability of the bedrock, or transportation distances from emission source to emission sinks. We caution against a “yes or no” interpretation of the feasibility based solely on the Mineral Storage Atlas.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please contact us.

Special thanks to our interns Alexander McFadden and Katrin Steinþorsdottir (UBC) for helping develop the tool.


The colored regions highlight the locations of potential feasible rock formations (yellow) is merged from multiple datasets for clarity and ease of use. Another, more detailed mineral storage atlas containing all the separate layers is under construction. The following datasets have been used for the compilation of the Mineral Storage Atlas:

  • The new global lithological map database GLiM: a representation of rock properties at the Earth surface. Hartmann, J. & Moosdorf, N.  Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 13, Q12004 (2012).
    This is a global, above sea-level database – a high resolution global lithological map (GLiM). The data were compiled and harmonized from 92 national or state geological maps and additional literature, with resolution, detail and scale in mind. The data used from this database are classified as volcanic (mostly basaltic rocks), intermediate volcanic, basic plutonic (wplutonic mafic and ultramafic rocks) and intermediate plutonic)
  • Long-term interaction between mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes Whittaker, J. M. et al.  Nat. Geosci. 8, 479–483 (2015).
    Mid-ocean ridges, plumes and Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs).
  • Ocean basin evolution and global-scale plate reorganization events since Pangea breakup. Müller, R. D. et al. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 44, 107–138 (2016).
    Model of age distribution of oceanic crust (230-0 Ma) built upon the model from Seton et al. (2012). Plume related volcanism and present-day plume locations after Whittaker et al. (2015).
  • A global plate model including lithospheric deformation along major rifts and orogens since the Triassic Müller, R.D. et al. Tectonics, vol. 38 (2019).
    Model of mid-ocean ridges and oceanic crust.
  • The interplay between the eruption and weathering of Large Igneous Provinces and the deep-time carbon cycle. Johansson, L., Zahirovic, S. & Müller, R. D. Geophys. Res. Lett. 45, 5380–5389 (2018).
    Database of distribution of surface and subsurface continental and oceanic Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) (mostly mafic volcanic and plutonic rocks) compiled from multiple sources.
  • The 1:5 Million International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas Asch, K. (2003). Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3, Stuttgart: E. Schweizerbart´she Verlagsbuchhandlung. BGR (Hannover). Asch, K. (2005) BGR (Hannover).
    This database shows the geology (age, petrography, genesis, magnetic anomalies, structural and metamorphic data) of onshore and offshore Europe and surrounding areas. The database was compiled in cooperation between the World Map Commission (CGMW) and geological surveys of 48 countries and >20 scientific institutes.
  • Carbon dioxide mineralization feasibility in the United States Blondes, M.S., Merrill, M.D., Anderson, S.T., and DeVera, C.A. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5079 (2019).
    This is a database of the United States with geologic data compiled and simplified from multiple previous studies (Lambert et al., 1988; Ojakangas et al., 2001; Reed et al., 2005; Sherrod et al., 2007; Garrity and Soller, 2009; Krevor et al., 2009; Barry et al., 2013). The database shows above sea-level surface mafic rocks and known subsurface mafic rocks (these are both gabbroic plutonic and basaltic volcanic rocks), and surface ultramafic rocks (incl. serpentinized dunite, peridotite, pyroxenite, and carbonate-altered rocks).
  • Mapping the mineral resource base for mineral carbon-dioxide sequestration in the conterminous United States Krevor, S.C., Graves, C.R., Van Gosen, B.S., and McCafferty, A.E. U.S. Geological Survey Digital Data Series 414 (2009).
    This database provides information on the occurrence of ultramafic rocks in the conterminous United States that are suitable for sequestering captured carbon dioxide in mineral form.
  • Database of the Geologic Map of North America adapted from the map by J.C. Reed, Jr. and others Garrity, C.P., and Soller, D.R., 2009 (2005) U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 424.
    This map layer contains geologic unit boundaries for the area depicted in the Geologic Map of North America, published by the Geological Society of America in 2005. Regions used in the Atlas are the same as the ones used in Blondes et al. (2019) above.

Emission sources

The Mineral Storage Atlas was compiled in ArcGIS powered by ESRI. The spatial analysis is partly based on GeoPandas 0.8.0 using Python 3.0.