Knowledge review of anthropogenic seismicity


Since the industrial revolution, global demand for fossil energy and raw materials has led to a considerable increase in the exploitation of underground resources. The demand for mineral resources even tends to accelerate: since the beginning of the last century to the first decade of 2000, the World extraction of raw materials has increased by 10. The part of mineral resources increased by a quarter to two thirds of the total and the OECD estimates that by 2030 the world production of raw materials could be multiplied by 15.

Conventional and unconventional exploitation of hydrocarbons, energy storage, deep geothermal energy, geological sequestration of CO2 ... technological advances lead to constantly pushing back the limits of the exploited deep underground. However, the multiplicity, diversity and increasing scale of exploitation projects, as well as the new uses of the underground, increase the risk that these industrial activities may generate earthquakes, called "anthropogenic", that is, generated by man (as opposed to earthquakes of natural origin).

Ineris's work on the know ledge review of anthropogenic seismicity was based on the identification and analysis of 260 case studies. Compared to natural seismicity, anthropogenic seismicity has certain specificities that should be considered at all stages of risk prevention. The Ineris report provides an update on hazard assessment methods, namely the probability that a seismic event of a given magnitude will occur at a given location. The different types of risks generated by anthropogenic seismicity are also analysed, as well as the main measures of prevention and mitigation of these phenomena.