Carbon Capture Storage Mapping

GIS Maps to unpack a problematic technological approach to lowering carbon emissions. Key issues involve increase of upstream and downstream energy usage and non-carbon pollution generation, increase of water usage, contamination of already compromised water tables, links between carbon injection and earthquake risk, as well as unreliable outcomes. CCS is a tactic to allow corporations to continue polluting fossil fuel infrastructure.


Map by Medha Gelli, Scripps College ’23, Pitzer Environmental Analysis Major. With thanks to David Robinson.

Click here for an interactive map of CCS sites, identified USGS fault lines, and liquefaction zones.  The chart below shows miles from project to fault line.

CSS has been associated with a rise in seismic activity, including increased risk of earthquakes. According to data from the US Geological Survey, 2 CCS sites are located within .7 mile of a fault line, an additional 2 are within 1.5 miles of a fault line, and an additional 4 are located between 2 and 4 miles of a fault line. One Southern California site is located directly over a hazardous liquification zone.

And those are just the faults we know about. There are many unmapped faults, and in a geography as complex as California’s, the USGS reports that some of the mapped fault lines located near CCS sites have “poor mapping certainty,” and thus may be in closer or more distant proximity than noted in the table above.

CCS puts Californians at risk, because carbon injection may cause seismic events, and may also be damaged by natural earthquakes, leading to risk of CO2 leakage, infrastructure compromises, and water contamination.

Please consult this interactive map for more information: Interactive Map Link. Map by Warren Roberts, Claremont Colleges Library.

Click here for an earthquake map by Pitzer EA major Medha Gelli (Scripps ’23).


CCS increases water usage and risks polluting groundwater and air quality. Key Issues:

CCS projects can increase power plant water usage by 50-90%,

Water tables are already compromised in the Central Valley, which is where the majority of CCS sites are being proposed.

CCS may introduce saline into water tables, furthering a state of climate crisis.

When piped in from distant locations, water also has a significant carbon footprint, whose cost should be factored into decisions regarding CCS.

This map demonstrates that all proposed CCS sites are in areas with shallow water tables and low recharge.

Map by Medha Gelli, Scripps College ’23, Pitzer Environmental Analysis Major. With thanks to David Robinson.