Exploitation of energy geo-resources and their impacts on the environment
Dipartimento di Fisica “E. R. Caianiello”, Universit`a degli Studi di Salerno via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy
Published online: 22 November 2022
The increase of the world population has led to a major demand for energy with a consequent huge exploitation of natural fossil resources. To build a sustainable future and reach the goals of the green economy, it is necessary to gradually use low-carbon energies taking into account the possible risks associated with each type of energy production. A much-debated incidental event is the anthropogenic or induced seismicity connected with the exploitation of energy geo-resources. It arises because of changes in the pore pressure of subsurface rocks that, in turn, create increased stress that can exceed the threshold value for fracture. This situation may verify from underground extraction or injection of fluids, geothermal energy production, storage of CO2, natural gas, or hydrogen in underground cavities. The interest of the scientific community, politics and society towards this issue has grown in the last decade especially after the wide use of the fracking technique in the United States and the occurrence of the 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquake (Italy). Both conventional and unconventional geo-resources exploitation techniques can induce seismicity causing damage to the industrial plant itself and the surrounding buildings especially in highly urbanized areas and in extreme situations even generate loss of life. It is, therefore, necessary to carry out detailed studies of seismicity occurred in areas of geo-resources exploitation to expand knowledge of this phenomenon and develop safety protocols to prevent and mitigate the risks.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2022
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