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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-2019-331
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-331
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Nov 2019

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

Induced seismicity risk analysis of the hydraulic stimulation of a geothermal well on Geldinganes, Iceland

Marco Broccardo1,4, Arnaud Mignan2,3, Francesco Grigoli1, Dimitrios Karvounis1, Antonio Pio Rinaldi1,2, Laurentiu Danciu1, Hannes Hofmann5, Claus Milkereit5, Torsten Dahm5, Günter Zimmermann5, Vala Hjörleifsdóttir6, and Stefan Wiemer1 Marco Broccardo et al.
  • 1Swiss Seismological Service, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • 3Institute of Risk Analysis, Prediction and Management, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China
  • 4Institute of Structural Engineering, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • 5Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • 6Orkuveita Reykjavíkur/Reykjavík Energy, Iceland

Abstract. The rapid increase in energy demand in the city of Reykjavik has posed the need for an additional supply of hot water from deep geothermal energy. The deep hydraulic (re-)stimulation of well RV-43 on the peninsula of Geldinganes (north of Reykjavik) is an essential component of the plan implemented by Reykjavik Energy to meet this energy target. Hydraulic stimulation is often associated with fluid-induced seismicity, most of which is not felt on the surface, but which, in rare cases, can cause nuisance to the population and even damage to the nearby building stock. This study presents a first of its kind pre-drilling probabilistic induced-seismic hazard and risk analysis for the site of interest. Specifically, we provide probabilistic estimates of peak ground acceleration, European microseismicity intensity, probability of light damage (damage risk), and individual risk. The results of the risk assessment indicate that the individual risk within a radius of 2 km around the injection point is below 0.1 micromorts, and damage risk is below 10−2, for the total duration of the project. However, these results are affected by several orders of magnitude of variability due to the deep uncertainties present at all levels of the analysis, indicating a critical need in updating this a-priory risk assessment with in-situ data collected during the stimulation.

Marco Broccardo et al.
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Short summary
This study presents a first of its kind pre-drilling probabilistic induced-seismic risk analysis for the Geldinganes (Iceland) deep-hydraulic stimulation. The results of the assessment indicate that the individual risk within a radius of 2 km around the injection point is below the safety limits. However, the analysis is affected by a large variability due to the presence of pre-drilling deep uncertainties. This suggests the need for on-line risk updating during the stimulation.
This study presents a first of its kind pre-drilling probabilistic induced-seismic risk analysis...
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