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Underground Experiments and Picoseismicity: Understanding Rock Response by Studying Tiny Seismic Events

December 18, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Katrin Plekers

Dr. Katrin Plenkers

What to Expect

Picoseismicity allows to study the rock response in great detail, which is of importance in may large-scale experiments in underground laboratories addressing questions like earthquake nucleation, hydro-fracturing or nuclear waste disposal. Furthermore, picoseismi monitoring is used for structural health monitoring e.g. in mines.

Picoseismicity corresponds to seismic events representing fractures on mm-, cm or dm scale (Magnitudes approx. -6 < M < 0). Seismic signals with frequencies from ~ 1000 Hz to ~150.000 Hz are recorded. In this talk different underground experiments with picoseismic monitoring are introduced to showcase the information gained from picoseismic monitoring. One focus of this talk is ongoing earthquake nucleation and rockburst research in Deep South African Mines, another studies on injection-induced seismicity. In addition, the successful four-year survey of property changes in bentonite backfill using active sources in combination with a picoseismic monitoring system is shown.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Katrin Plenkers is Project Manager and Head of Monitoring Systems at the Bedretto Underground Laboratory of ETH Zürich. She obtained her PhD from GFZ Potsdam working on picoseismicity in South Africa. After postdocs at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and ETH Zürich, she joined GMuG as Senior Scientist and Project Manager. There she participated in or was the lead of about a dozen underground experiments with universities worldwide. Her research interests are in earthquake source physics, seismic monitoring, and induced seismicity.


Martin Schoenball




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