Abstract

A Monte Carlo approach to probabilistic seismic‐hazard analysis is developed for a case of induced seismicity associated with a compacting gas reservoir. The geomechanical foundation for the method is the work of Kostrov (1974) and McGarr (1976) linking total strain to summed seismic moment in an earthquake catalog. Our Monte Carlo method simulates future seismic hazard consistent with historical seismic and compaction datasets by sampling probability distributions for total seismic moment, event locations and magnitudes, and resulting ground motions. Ground motions are aggregated over an ensemble of simulated catalogs to give a probabilistic representation of the ground‐motion hazard. This approach is particularly well suited to the specific nature of the time‐dependent induced seismicity considered.

We demonstrate the method by applying it to seismicity induced by reservoir compaction following gas production from the Groningen gas field. A new ground‐motion prediction equation (GMPE) tailored to the Groningen field has been derived by calibrating an existing GMPE with local strong‐motion data. For 2013–2023, we find a 2% chance of exceeding a peak ground acceleration of 0.57g and a 2% chance of exceeding a peak ground velocity of 22  cm/s above the area of maximum compaction. Disaggregation shows that earthquakes of Mw 4–5, at the shortest hypocentral distances of 3 km, and ground motions two standard deviations above the median make the largest contributions to this hazard. Uncertainty in the hazard is primarily due to uncertainty about the future fraction of induced strains that will be seismogenic and how ground motion and its variability will scale to larger magnitudes.

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