Heavier earthquakes expected in Groningen

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earthquake Richter. (Picture: Matt Katzenberger/Flickr)

As the gas fields grow empty, the province of Groningen will have more and heavier earthquakes, AD reports. This is according to a scientific report by employees of Shell and the NAM, which was recently published in the scientific journal "Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth". 

The researchers calculated the probability of heavy earthquakes caused by the depletion of the gas fields. Up until 2023 there is a 50 percent chance of an earthquake stronger than the 3.6 magnitude one in Huizinge in 2012. There is also a 10 percent chance of earthquakes measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale. According to the researchers, both the severity and the frequency of the earthquakes will increase. Extracting gas out of the ground changes the balance in the substrate.

The researchers based their studies on the old increased gas extraction. It was recently agreed that the gas extraction will be reduced slightly, which will also slightly reduce the risk of severe earthquakes.

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