This report, carried out in close collaboration with experts in natural phenomena and seismologists, was prepared by the Integrity and Investigation Department of the Global Security Organization Against Corruption - OMSAC. He is interested in the consequences of human activities on seismic risk. The main objective of this study is to understand how activities such as dam construction, mining, liquid injection and oil extraction can influence the probability of induced earthquakes. Our department, in partnership with renowned specialists, is committed to delving deeper into this crucial question by shedding light on the underlying mechanisms and the implications of these activities on geology and seismology. We hope that this report will serve as a basis for increased awareness and more effective risk management measures in these critical areas.
Human activities have significantly altered the Earth's environment over the decades, and increasing attention is being paid to the potential consequences of these activities on geology and seismology. Activities that have raised seismic risk concerns include dam construction, mining operations, liquid injections and oil extractions. This report examines how these activities can influence the likelihood of earthquakes.
1. Construction of Dams:
Dams are built for a variety of reasons, including regulating rivers, producing hydroelectric power, and providing drinking water. When reservoirs are created, accumulated water puts pressure on pre-existing geological faults, which can trigger earthquakes. This is due to increased pore pressure in the Earth's crust, which can potentially cause the rock to rupture.
Mining operations involve the removal of large quantities of soil and rock. This can change the stability of geological layers beneath the surface. Additionally, mining waste and fluids used in the extraction process can infiltrate rock fractures, thereby changing stresses in the Earth's crust and potentially leading to induced earthquakes.
3. Liquid Injections:
Injecting pressurized liquids underground, as occurs in shale gas recovery or liquid waste storage operations, can increase pressure in underground rocks. This increased pressure can cause pre-existing faults or fractures to rupture, thus generating induced earthquakes.
4. Oil Extractions:
Oil extraction, particularly hydraulic fracturing activities, involves the injection of fluids under pressure to release hydrocarbons trapped in rock. This injection of fluids can also induce earthquakes by modifying the pressure in the earth's crust and influencing geological faults.
Human activities such as dam construction, mining, liquid injection and oil extraction have the potential to increase the likelihood of induced earthquakes. It is essential to closely monitor these activities in seismically active areas and take steps to minimize the associated risks. Appropriate regulations, ongoing geological monitoring, and risk assessments are essential to mitigate potential impacts to public safety and the environment. Continued research in this area is necessary to better understand the underlying mechanisms and implement adequate prevention and risk management measures.
Integrity & Investigations Department