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TitleNova Scotia Basalt as a soil additive for CO2 capture and fertilizing crops
AuthorJauer, C DORCID logo
SourceAtlantic Geology 2022 p. 1-29
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210544
PublisherAtlantic Geoscience Society
Meeting2022 Atlantic Geoscience Society Colloquim; Fredericton, NB; CA; February 11-12, 2022
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf
ProvinceNova Scotia
NTS21A; 21B; 21G; 21H
Lat/Long WENS -68.0000 -64.0000 46.0000 44.0000
SubjectsScience and Technology; Nature and Environment; environmental geology; carbon; basalts; carbon dioxide; climate; Fertilizers; Storage
Illustrationsphotographs; schematic diagrams; tables; location maps
ProgramMarine Geoscience for Marine Spatial Planning
Released2022 05 15
Nova Scotia Basalt as a soil additive for CO2 capture and fertilizing crops Recent work on Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW) (Beerling et al., 2020) shows that pulverised basalt spread over croplands is both an effective crop fertiliser and a stand alone CO2 sink as airborne carbon dioxide mineralises upon contact with various minerals in powdered basalt. Compared to subsurface CO2 injection this method is both inexpensive and simple to regulate, with the added benefit that the basalt fertiliser runoff will eventually act as a neutralising agent with respect to acidifying ocean water. Nova Scotia has an abundance of basalt deposits, both exposed and buried, that apart from their carbon storage potential also contain significant mineral elements with properties that are attractive to agriculture. The North Mountain Basalt is known for hosting zeolite deposits which are a beneficial cation intensive agent when added to soil for enhanced plant growth. Previous work has set the quantity of North Mountain Basalt at over 2300 km3 spread over an area of some 9400 km2. Given the relative ease of extracting and transporting this rock, much of which is exposed along the southern coast of the Bay of Fundy, North Mountain Basalt may represent a new “green industry” working to apply ERW methods to agriculture on a regional scale to meet CO2 emission limits. Mapping the North Mountain Basalt and similar basalt formations throughout the Maritimes region with respect to their suitability as candidates for ERW development is a necessary first step that can be done with archived data sets. An initial laboratory proof of concept test for ERW on Nova Scotian crops in a laboratory setting could be arranged with contacts at the Centre for Sustainable Soil Management, Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University. This step would add credibility in a Canadian context towards the application of this new method of carbon sequestration. References Beerling et al. Potential for large-scale CO2 removal via enhanced rock weathering with croplands. Nature | Vol 583 | 9 July 2020
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Carbon dioxide gas can be directly captured by using powdered basalt rocks as a fertiliser on croplands. This cheap and previously unused approach should be studied for future implementation using the abundant basalts found in Nova Scotia.

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