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Title: Towards the Understanding of Induced Seismicity in Enhanced Geothermal Systems

This DOE funded project was a collaborative effort between Array Information Technology (AIT), the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). It was also part of the European research project “GEISER”, an international collaboration with 11 European partners from six countries including universities, research centers and industry, with the goal to address and mitigate the problems associated with induced seismicity in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). The goal of the current project was to develop a combination of techniques, which evaluate the relationship between enhanced geothermal operations and the induced stress changes and associated earthquakes throughout the reservoir and the surrounding country rock. The project addressed the following questions: how enhanced geothermal activity changes the local and regional stress field; whether these activities can induce medium sized seismicity M > 3; (if so) how these events are correlated to geothermal activity in space and time; what is the largest possible event and strongest ground motion, and hence the potential hazard associated with these activities. The development of appropriate technology to thoroughly investigate and address these questions required a number of datasets to provide themore » different physical measurements distributed in space and time. Because such a dataset did not yet exist for an EGS system in the United State, we used current and past data from The Geysers geothermal field in northern California, which has been in operation since the 1960s. The research addressed the need to understand the causal mechanisms of induced seismicity, and demonstrated the advantage of imaging the physical properties and temporal changes of the reservoir. The work helped to model the relationship between injection and production and medium sized magnitude events that have jeopardized, and in some cases suspended, the generation of energy from EGS systems worldwide.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Array Information Technology, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (Germany, German Research Center for Geosciences
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Final Report
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Array Information Technology, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Contributing Orgs:
University of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (Germany, German Research Center for Geosciences; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States