Understanding North Sea (Europe) seismicity for risk mitigation of large-scale CO2 injections

Daniela Karstin Kuehn, Evgeniia Martuganova, Tom Kettlety, Johannes Schweitzer, Annie Elisabeth Jerkins, Bettina P. Goertz-Allmann, Joseph Philip Robert Asplet, Trine Dahl-Jensen, Peter Voss, Brian Baptie, Mike Fellgett, Anna Dichiarante, John R. Hopper, Chen Huang, Nadège Langet, Cornelis Weemstra

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract at conferencepeer-review


Carbon capture and storage technologies are an essential part of EU’s decarbonisation efforts. Combined with sustainable energy resources, they are necessary to move Europe towards a net zero carbon emissions economy. Currently, several Mt-scale CO2 storage projects are being developed in the North Sea. Containment risk evaluation includes analysing tectonic earthquake patterns to potentially map faults, reveal their orientation and failure style, invert for stress directions and at later stages, enable the discrimination of natural and induced seismicity. In addition, seismological information may contribute to the geomechanical understanding of the reservoir and caprock response to large-scale CO2 injection over time.

A wealth of data exists from various European seismological agencies, but much of it has not been analysed collectively. Within the framework of the ACT project SHARP Storage, an extensive unique earthquake bulletin was compiled using seismicity data from all relevant data centres. Preliminary processing included duplicate removal and explosion identification. In total, 15,230 events were recorded between years 1382 and 2022, of which 3,305 were identified as likely or potential explosions. For the remaining events, waveforms are currently being collected as a basis for further analysis, including event relocation and magnitude homogenisation. Both data sets are planned to being made public after finalising the project.

Relocated events, moment tensor inversion, shear-wave splitting measurements, and stress drop analysis will be compared to and complement a review of borehole stress measurements to better gauge the present-day stress field and enhance seismic hazard assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventAGU23 - George R. Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 11 Dec 202315 Dec 2023


Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources
  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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