Sunday February 25, 2018
Home Science & Technology Software Tool...

Software Tool designed to reduce risk of triggering man-made Earthquakes

The software, known as Fault Slip Potential (FSP), will be available for free starting March 2

0
//
53
2010 Earthquake in Chile, Wikimedia
Republish
Reprint

Feb 28, 2017: Two researchers at Stanford University have developed a software tool designed to reduce the risk of triggering man-made earthquakes where oil and gas production activities may trigger slip in nearby faults.

The software, known as Fault Slip Potential (FSP), will be available for free starting March 2, Xinhua news agency reported.

Acknowledging that “faults are everywhere in the Earth’s crust, so you can’t avoid them,” said Mark Zoback, professor of geophysics at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, who worked with his graduate student Rall Walsh on the project.

“Fortunately, the majority of them are not active and pose no hazard to the public. The trick is to identify which faults are likely to be problematic, and that’s what our tool does,” Zoback added.

Oil and gas operations can generate significant quantities of “produced water,” or brackish water that needs to be disposed of through deep injection to protect drinking water.

Energy companies also dispose of water that flows back after hydraulic fracturing in the same way.

This process can increase pore pressure, namely the pressure of groundwater trapped within the tiny spaces inside rocks in the subsurface, which in turn increases the pressure on nearby faults, causing them to slip and release seismic energy in the form of earthquakes.

The FSP tool uses three key pieces of information to help determine the probability of a fault being pushed to slip: the first is how much wastewater injection will increase pore pressure at a site; the second is knowledge of the stresses acting in the earth; the third is knowledge of pre-existing faults in the area.

Zoback and Walsh have started testing their FSP tool in Oklahoma, of mid-western US, which has experienced a sharp rise in the number of earthquakes since 2009, due largely to wastewater injection operations.

Their analysis suggests that some wastewater injection wells in Oklahoma were unwittingly placed near stressed faults already primed to slip.

The researchers believe regulators could use the tool to identify areas where proposed injection activities could prove problematic so that enhanced monitoring efforts can be implemented.

“Our tool provides a quantitative probabilistic approach for identifying at-risk faults so that they can be avoided,” Walsh was quoted as saying in a news release on Monday. (IANS)

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Plastic Found in 83% Drinking Water on Five Continents, Nobody is Safe

While the health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, it is not something you would want to consume

0
//
51
Plastic
A shelf full of various kinds of bottled water is pictured at a supermarket in Beijing. (VOA)
  • Tiny particles of degraded plastic called microplastics found in drinking water
  • Consumption of microplastics by fishes are known to stunt growth, inhibit hatching of eggs and increase mortality rates
  • The tiny pieces of plastic have been found in both, public taps and bottled water

London, September 7, 2017 : Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in drinking water on five continents – from Trump Tower in New York to a public tap on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda – posing a potential risk to people’s health, researchers said on Wednesday.

Plastic degrades over time into tiny particles known as microplastics, which were found in 83 percent of samples from Germany to Cuba to Lebanon analyzed by U.S.-based digital news organization Orb Media.

“If you ask people whether they want to be eating or drinking plastic, they just say, ‘No, that’s a dumb question,’ ” said Sherri Mason, one of study’s authors and a chemistry professor at the State University of New York.

“It’s probably not something that we want to be ingesting, but we are, whether through our drinking water, through beer, juice. It’s in our food, sea salt, mussels. Nobody is safe,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Microplastics of up to 5 millimeters are also in bottled water, she said.

The health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, but studies on fish have shown they inhibit hatching of fertilized eggs, stunt growth and make them more susceptible to predators, increasing mortality rates.

Microplastics absorb toxic chemicals from the marine environment, which are released into the bodies of fish and mammals who consume them, Orb Media’s chief executive, Molly Bingham, said in a statement.

While many studies have shown the prevalence of microplastics in the world’s oceans, where more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating, it is the first time research has been conducted into drinking water. (VOA)

Next Story