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InSAR Monitoring of Ground Deformation due to Subsurface Reservoir Operations at Groningen

Yuexin Li, Mateo Acosta, Krittanon Sirorattanakul, Stephen Bourne, & Jean-Philippe Avouac

Submitted September 10, 2023, SCEC Contribution #13147, 2023 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #150

Over the past decades, gas extraction from the Groningen gas field, located in the northeast of Netherlands, has caused substantial land subsidence and increased frequency and magnitude of seismicity, making it an archetype case example to test models of induced seismicity. A number of studies have successfully related the seismicity to the reservoir compaction, however whether the appropriate rheology to relate the reservoir compaction to pressure has been debated. One way to advance this question, which is important to forecast future seismicity, is to investigate how the compaction, derived from surface deformation, depends on pressure variations over different time scales. To this effect, we integrate geodetic datasets including InSAR (RADARSAT2, TerraSAR-X, Sentinel-1) and GNSS displacement timeseries spanning 2009-2022 to measure the ground deformation associated with the subsurface reservoir operations. We use an Independent Component Analysis (ICA) technique to isolate deformation signals of various origins. The technique allows to extract the signals related to reservoir operation in the Rotlingen formation at Groningen and at the Norg underground gas storage. Within the Groningen reservoir, the surface deformation is dominated by decadal subsidence, with small seasonal variations and spatially variable subsidence rate controlled by local compressibility. The ICA reveals prominent seasonal fluctuations at Norg follow closely the gas storage operations. This signal (of ~20 mm amplitude over a 5x5 km footprint) is otherwise invisible in the InSAR time series due the various source of noise that are successfully filtered out with the ICA. We compare the observed long-term subsidence within the Groningen reservoir as well as the seasonal oscillation at Norg with our model prediction assuming pure-elastic and inelastic compaction. This helps us better understand the geomechanical response of the reservoir and constrain the reservoir rheology.

Li, Y., Acosta, M., Sirorattanakul, K., Bourne, S., & Avouac, J. (2023, 09). InSAR Monitoring of Ground Deformation due to Subsurface Reservoir Operations at Groningen. Poster Presentation at 2023 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Stress and Deformation Over Time (SDOT)