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predictinG EaRthquakES induced by fluid injecTion

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Víctor Vilarrasa


GEoREST aims at developing a novel methodology to predict and mitigate induced seismicity. Fluid injection related to energy-related underground resources has become widespread, causing numerous cases of induced seismicity. If felt, induced seismicity has a negative effect on public perception and may jeopardize wellbore stability and infrastructure, which has led to the cancellation of several projects. Therefore, forecasting injection-induced earthquakes is a big challenge that must be overcome to deploy geo-energies to significantly reduce CO₂ emissions and thus mitigate climate change and reduce related health issues.

We propose an interdisciplinary approach that integrates coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-seismic processes that occur in the subsurface as a result of fluid injection. The methodology, based on new analytical and numerical solutions, will concentrate on (1) understanding the processes that lead to induced seismicity by model testing of specific conjectures, (2) improving and extending subsurface characterization by using industrial fluid injection operations as a long-term continuous characterization technique, so as to reduce prediction uncertainty, and (3) using the resulting understanding and site specific knowledge to predict and mitigate induced seismicity. Project developments will be tested and verified against fluid-induced seismicity at field sites that present diverse characteristics. Arguably, the successful development of this project will provide operators with concepts and tools to perform pressure management to reduce the risk of inducing seismicity to acceptable levels and thus, reverse public perception on fluid injection activities.


Víctor Vilarrasa CSIC
+34 93 400 61 00