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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-227
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-227
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 30 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Website – Spatial database for reservoir-triggered seismicity in Brazil

Eveline Sayão1, George França1, Maristela Holanda2, and Alexandro Gonçalves2 Eveline Sayão et al.
  • 1Seismological Observatory, Institute of Geosciences, Universidade de Brasília Campus Darcy Ribeiro, SG13, Zip Cod 70910-900, Brasília, Brasil
  • 2Department of Computer Science, Universidade de Brasília, Campus Darcy Ribeiro, SGAN, Zip Cod 70910-900, Brasília, Brasil

Abstract. After confirming that impoundment of large reservoirs could cause earthquakes worldwide, studies on reservoir-triggered seismicity (RTS) have had a considerable scientific incentive. Most of the studies determined that the vertical load increase due to reservoir load, and the reduction of effective effort due to the increase in pore pressure, can modify the stress regime in the reservoir region, possibly triggering earthquakes. In addition, the RTS is conditioned by several factors such as pre-existing tectonic stresses, reservoir size/weight, area-specific geological and hydromechanical conditions, constructive interaction between the orientation of seismotectonic forces, and additional load caused by the reservoir. One of the major challenges for studying RTS is to identify and correlate the factors in the area of influence of the reservoir, capable of influencing the RTS process itself. To assist the research, it was created a spatial seismicity-triggered reservoir database (BDSDR) based on the specifications of the national spatial data infrastructure (INDE), for gathering data pertinent to the RTS study in the area of reservoirs. In this context, this work presents the procedures and results found in the data processing of seismotectonic factors (dam height, reservoir volume, geology, and seismicity level) and compared with the dams that triggered earthquakes and the Brazilian dam catalog, which was then updated from 26 to 30 cases. The results indicate that the occurrence of RTS increases significantly with dam height since dams less than 50 m high cause only 2 % of earthquakes while those higher than 100 m cause about 54 %. The reservoir volume also plays a role and it was estimated that RTS occurrence requires a limiting minimum value of 1 × 10−4 km3. There was no clear correlation between the geology and geological provinces with RTS. The delayed response time of the reservoirs represents 43 % of the total, that is, almost half of them have hydraulic behavior. The highest magnitude, 4.2, was observed for an event that occurred in a reservoir with a volume greater than 10−3 km3. As a practical result to assist the analysis by the general community, the web viewer RISBRA (Reservoir Induced Seismicity in Brazil) was developed to serve as an interactive platform for BDSDR data.

Eveline Sayão et al.
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Short summary
One of the biggest challenges in studying reservoir-triggered seismicity (RTS) is to identify factors that can trigger seismicity. A spatial database and a web viewer were created, gathering the data pertinent to the RTS study. Results were obtained In processing these data, such as the occurrence of RTS increases with the height of the dam, the minimum limiting volume value of 1 × 10−4 km3 for occurrence of RTS, for geology no correlations were found and among other results.
One of the biggest challenges in studying reservoir-triggered seismicity (RTS) is to identify...
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