A new article published in Nature Review ("Poroelastic stress relaxation, slip stress transfer and friction weakening controlled post-injection seismicity at the Basel Enhanced Geothermal System") by GEoREST Team (Auregan Boyet, Silvia De Simone, Shemin Ge & Víctor Vilarrasa)
Induced seismicity is a limiting factor for the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). Its causal mechanisms are not fully understood, especially those of post-injection seismicity. To better understand the mechanisms that induced seismicity in the controversial case of the Basel EGS (Switzerland), we perform coupled hydro-mechanical simulation of the plastic response of a discrete pre-existing fault network built on the basis of the monitored seismicity. Simulation results show that the faults located in the vicinity of the injection well fail during injection mainly triggered by pore pressure buildup. Poroelastic stressing, which may be stabilizing or destabilizing depending on the fault orientation, reaches further than pressure diffusion, having a greater effect on distant faults. After injection stops, poroelastic stress relaxation leads to the immediate rupture of previously stabilized faults. Shear-slip stress transfer, which also contributes to post-injection reactivation of distant faults, is enhanced in faults with slip-induced friction weakening.