PhD opportunities

Physics-based modeling of an induced seismicity sequence in a geothermal reservoir

Thesis proposal

Area of expertiseGeoscience and Geoengineering
Doctoral SchoolGRNE - Gťosciences, Ressources Naturelles et Environnement
SupervisorM. Mark NOBLE
Co-supervisorM. Pierre DUBLANCHET
Research unitGeosciences
ContactDUBLANCHET Pierre
Starting dateOctober 1st 2021
Keywordsinduced seismicity, geothermal exploitation, fluid, temperature, magnitude
AbstractEarthquakes induced by fluid flow in a fractured reservoir are the main obstacles in the development of geothermal exploitation. The hazard associated with such energy exploitation is currently poorly estimated, mainly because of our poor knowledge of the state of stress at depth, and because earthquake triggering mechanisms are poorly understood. It is generally not clear whether earthquakes are triggered by a pore pressure front, a temperature front or stress transfers between slow slip and seismogenic asperities.
Here we propose to analyze a particular induced earthquake sequence that happened in the geothermal field of Muara Laboh (Indonesia), making use of physics-based earthquake simulators. Earthquake simulators are models based on elasticity, friction, and transport equations allowing to generate synthetic earthquake sequences (with time, location, magnitudes) from a given fault network and loading mechanism. Here, the loading comes from a cold fluid injection into a hot reservoir, leading to poroelastic and thermoelastic stresses on faults. Synthetic earthquake sequences will be confronted to the real data, in order to better constrain the triggering mechanisms of induced seismicity. A similar approach has already been successfully used by the supervisor for a natural swarm in the Corinth rift (Dublanchet & DeBarros 2020).
Basic knowledge about seismology and earthquake mechanics are required. Strong skills in solid mechanics and numerical methods will be crucial to conduct this project.
Profile- Basic knowledge about seismology and earthquake mechanics are required.
- Strong skills in solid mechanics and numerical methods will be crucial to conduct this project.
FundingAutre type de financement