Induced seismicity hazard and risk by enhanced geothermal systems: an expert elicitation approach
Azevedo, Inês L.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Induced seismicity is a concern for multiple geoenergy applications, including low-carbon enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). We present the results of an international expert elicitation (n = 14) on EGS induced seismicity hazard and risk. Using a hypothetical scenario of an EGS plant and its geological context, we show that expert best-guess estimates of annualized exceedance probabilities of an M ≥ 3 event range from 0.2%–95% during reservoir stimulation and 0.2%–100% during operation. Best-guess annualized exceedance probabilities of M ≥ 5 event span from 0.002%–2% during stimulation and 0.003%–3% during operation. Assuming that tectonic M7 events could occur, some experts do not exclude induced (triggered) events of up to M7 too. If an induced M = 3 event happens at 5 km depth beneath a town with 10 000 inhabitants, most experts estimate a 50% probability that the loss is contained within 500 000 USD without any injuries or fatalities. In the case of an induced M = 5 event, there is 50% chance that the loss is below 50 million USD with the most-likely outcome of 50 injuries and one fatality or none. As we observe a vast diversity in quantitative expert judgements and underlying mental models, we conclude with implications for induced seismicity risk governance. That is, we suggest documenting individual expert judgements in induced seismicity elicitations before proceeding to consensual judgements, to convene larger expert panels in order not to cherry-pick the experts, and to aim for multi-organization multi-model assessments of EGS induced seismicity hazard and risk. Show more
Journal / seriesEnvironmental Research Letters
Pages / Article No.
Subjectenhanced geothermal systems; induced seismicity; expert elicitation; risk assessment; risk governance
Organisational unit02351 - TdLab / TdLab
160563 - Risk governance of electricity portfolios (RIGOROuS): Cross-technology and spatial tradeoffs of multiple risks (SNF)
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