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Journal Articles Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Year : 2013

Predicting ground motion from induced earthquakes in geothermal areas


Induced seismicity from anthropogenic sources can be a significant nuisance to a local population and, in extreme cases, can lead to damage to vulnerable structures. One type of induced seismicity that is of particular recent concern, and which in some cases is a limit on development of a potentially-important clean energy source, is that associated with geothermal power production. A key requirement for the accurate assessment of seismic hazard (and eventually risk) is a ground-motion prediction equation (GMPE), predicting the level of earthquake shaking (in terms of, for example, peak ground acceleration) given an earthquake of a certain magnitude at a particular distance. For geothermal-related seismicity, practically no such models currently exist and consequently the evaluation of seismic hazard in the vicinity of geothermal power plants is associated with high uncertainty. Various ground-motion datasets of induced and natural seismicity (from Basel, Geysers, Hengill, Roswinkel, Soultz and Voerendaal) were compiled and processed and the moment magnitudes for all events recomputed homogeneously. These data are used to show that ground motions from induced and natural earthquakes cannot be statistically distinguished. Empirical GMPEs are derived from these data and it is shown that they have similar characteristics to some recent GMPEs for natural and mining-related seismicity but the standard deviations are higher. Subsequently stochastic models, to account for epistemic uncertainties, are developed based on a single corner frequency and with parameters constrained by the available data. Predicted ground motions from these models are fitted with functional forms to obtain easy-to-use GMPEs. These are associated with standard deviations derived from the empirical data to characterize the aleatory variability. As an example, we demonstrate the potential use of these models using data from Campi Flegrei.
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Dates and versions

hal-00792995 , version 1 (21-02-2013)



John Douglas, Benjamin Edwards, Vincenzo Convertito, Nitin Sharma, Anna Tramelli, et al.. Predicting ground motion from induced earthquakes in geothermal areas. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2013, 103 (3), pp.1875-1897. ⟨10.1785/0120120197⟩. ⟨hal-00792995⟩


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