Geomechanical properties of Groningen Reservoir, Netherlands, from deformation and seismicity.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Earth Sciences


Extraction of gas from the large Groningen field presents significant ground engineering challenges. As the reservoir compacts and the overlying region subsides induced seismicity is increasing. This is a densely populated area so the societal importance and interest is significant.

The gas extraction record will be combined with information on deformation derived from satellite InSAR, GPS measurements above the reservoir, and microseismicity recorded using a new array of 59 seismometers in boreholes. The dataset will be analysed to constrain the contribution of viscous and poro-elastic deformation and the partitioning of seismic and aseismic deformation.

This will allow us to model the geomechanical properties of the subsurface reservoir, place physics-based constraints on the likely size and location of induced seismicity, and better understand how elastic energy builds up and is released in seismic events.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509103/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2020
1653579 Studentship EP/N509103/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2019 Jonathan Daniel Smith
Description We have detected and located seismicity across the Groningen region for the period of 2015-2017. This has implemented our bayesian inversion methods of coalescence microseismic scanning to detected events, with earthquake failure type determined using NonLinLoc and MTFit algorithms. To better understand the relationship of seismicity and extraction, we have used the surface deformation data from satellite, levelling surveys and GPS stations to understand surface deformation and relate reservoir dynamics.
Exploitation Route The methods throughout my work are applicable to other induced seismicity (e.g. Hydrofracking, Mining Deformation and Carbon-Capture Storage), as well as reservoir and aquifer dynamics.
Sectors Construction,Energy,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy