The passive monitoring of microseismic events can provide a cheap and effective means for monitoring spatial and temporal variations in sub-surface properties. These microearthquakes will occur naturally due to regional tectonic stresses, but can be also induced through exploitation activities such as hydraulic stimulation, enhanced petroleum recovery and fluid extraction, and underground mining. Such monitoring offers insights into the dynamic state of stress – invaluable information for developing effective strategies for drilling, injection, fracturing and production programs.
This project covers a wide range of research themes concerned with developing a better understanding and exploitation of natural and induced microearthquakes in localised regions such as hydrocarbon reservoirs or mining operations. It is a consortium-funded endeavour emphasising fundamental research and knowledge transfer. The consortium is based in the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, with collaboration with members of the School of the Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. It is the continuation of a successful first phase originally based at the University of Leeds.