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GEISER

Geothermal Engineering Integrating Mitigation of Induced Seismicity in Reservoirs

The project will address several of the major challenges the development of geothermal energy is facing, including the mitigation of induced seismicity to an acceptable level. The specific goals of GEISER are:

  • to understand why seismicity is induced in some cases but not in others
  • to assess the probability of seismic hazards depending on geological setting and geographical location
  • to propose licensing and monitoring guidelines for local authorities, including a definition acceptable ground motion levels
  • to investigate strategies for 'soft stimulation' that sufficiently improve the geothermal reservoir's hydraulic properties without producing earthquakes that could be felt or cause damage
  • GEISER will proceed as follows:

    • Analyse induced seismicity from representative geothermal reservoirs worldwide, taking into account injection parameters, local stress fields, and geological settings. We will then compare these datasets with other data of places where injection did not cause significant seismicity.
    • Study the geomechanics and processes involved in creating induced seismicity during fluid injection. We are examining the influence of temperature, poro-elasticity, fluid injection rate, existing fault segments, and time dependent effects.
      • Compare seismic hazard presented by earthquakes triggered through human activity with hazards triggered by natural seismicity. The first two actions will lead us to quantify the probability of triggering larger earthquakes and to define the potential damage caused by ground shaking. This in turn will enable us to propose guidelines for local authorities and industry.
      • Propose strategies for the mitigation of induced seismicity ("soft injection"). GEISER wil work on the optimisation of a monitoring network and develop a real-time monitoring system to help authorities and operators minimize the seismic hazard and manage the risks during operations and production. Experience of past seismic events caused by the mining and the oil and gas industries will be included to address the proper handling of risk. TNO is especially involved in the development of these strategies.

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Ir. Jan Hopman

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