Monitoring injected and stored CO2 is an important component in any carbon storage project. A baseline study, prior to storage of CO2, is conducted in order to characterize the saline reservoir, overlying rock units, and surrounding area. This enables scientists to track and understand what CO2 is doing in a reservoir after injection has begun. Taking a before, during, and after picture helps understand changes that have taken place and map the location of CO2 deep in the Earth.
MGSC participates in the US Department of Energy Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting (MVA) Working Group, which has developed an MVA best practices manual. General monitoring goals noted in that manual are to "demonstrate to regulatory oversight bodies that the practice of geological sequestration is safe, does not create significant adverse local environmental impacts, and that it is an effective CO2 control technology". The MGSC has developed MVA programs at each of its pilot- and demonstration-scale projects with the goals of evaluating various monitoring techniques in the near-surface and deep subsurface environments, establishing baseline conditions to evaluate potential impacts from CO2 injection, demonstrating that project activities are protective of human health and the environment, and providing an accurate accounting of stored CO2. Monitoring techniques include many of those described in the best practices manual.