On the origin of exponential growth in induced earthquakes in Groningen

  • van Putten, Maurice H.P.M. (Physics and Astronomy, Sejong University) ;
  • van Putten, Anton F.P. (AnMar Research Laboratories B.V.) ;
  • van Putten, Michael J.A.M. (Clinical Neurophysiology, Medisch Spectrum Twente and University of Twente)
  • Received : 2016.06.13
  • Accepted : 2016.10.19
  • Published : 2016.11.25


The Groningen gas field shows exponential growth in earthquake event counts around a magnitude M1 with a doubling time of 6-9 years since 2001. This behavior is identified with dimensionless curvature in land subsidence, which has been evolving at a constant rate over the last few decades essentially uncorrelated to gas production. We demonstrate our mechanism by a tabletop crack formation experiment. The observed skewed distribution of event magnitudes is matched by that of maxima of event clusters with a normal distribution. It predicts about one event < M5 per day in 2025, pointing to increasing stress to human living conditions.


Supported by : Korean National Research Foundation


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