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Keywords:

  • Injection-induced seismicity;
  • Carbon sequestration;
  • Mineral carbonation

Abstract

[1] The seismic safety of current technologies for CO2 sequestration has been questioned in several recent publications and whitepapers. While there is a definite risk from unbalanced subsurface fluid injection because of hydraulic fracturing, we propose a simple model to demonstrate that mineral carbonation in mafic rocks can mitigate seismic risk. In particular, mineral precipitation will increase the solid grain-grain contact area, which reduces the effective fluid pressure, distributes the deviatoric stress load, and increases frictional contact. Thus, mineral sequestration can potentially reduce seismic risk provided fluid pumping rates do not exceed a critical value.