A study by CSIC reveals the causes of the induced earthquakes at the Castor underground gas storage

12 April 2021

A study led by the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA) and the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM), both belonging to the National Research Council (CSIC), has revealed the underlying causal mechanisms of the earthquakes that took place after the gas injection in the Castor gas storage project in Castellón in 2013, which led to its closure four years later.

According to the work, led by the IDAEA researchers Víctor Vilarrasa and Jesús Carrera and published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, not only did the gas injection produce overpressure, but also a buoyancy force of the gas, which caused the Amposta fault to move. The movement of this fault destabilized an unknown and deeper fault, leading to the largest earthquakes that were perceived by the population.

Vilarrasa, V., De Simone, S., Carrera, J. and Villaseñor, A., 2021. Unravelling the causes of the seismicity induced by underground gas storage at Castor, Spain. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL092038. doi: 10.1029/2020GL092038

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