Friday, June 16, 2017

Science & Technology: Tool Provides Categories of Seismicity Risk for Geothermal Projects

Screening tool developed to assess seismic risks from geothermal energy projects (European Commission)

A new screening tool to assess the potential seismic risks (earthquake activity) from deep geothermal energy projects has been outlined in a recent study. The tool provides categories of seismicity risk for projects, which are dependent on factors including geological aspects, as well as social concern and location in relation to urban areas.

This study outlines a screening tool for geothermal seismicity termed the Geothermal Risk of Induced Seismicity Diagnosis (GRID), which estimates to what extent induced seismicity is a concern for a project. GRID is designed to be used during project planning and develops four categories for induced seismicity risk from very low or no concern (Category 0) to a high level of concern, where induced seismicity is likely (Category III). The framework was tested on three geothermal projects in Switzerland — Basel, St. Gallen, and Riehen — as well as a hypothetical Basel-type project located in a low-risk area with high social concern.

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