An overview of induced seismicity in the Netherlands

Annemarie G. Muntendam-Bos*, Gerco Hoedeman, Katerina Polychronopoulou, Deyan Draganov, Cornelis Weemstra, Wouter van der Zee, Richard R. Bakker, Hans Roest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)


We present an overview of induced seismicity due to subsurface engineering in the Netherlands. Our overview includes events induced by gas extraction, underground gas storage, geothermal heat extraction, salt solution mining and post-mining water ingress. Compared to natural seismicity, induced events are usually small (magnitudes ≤ 4.0). However, due to the soft topsoils in combination with shallow hypocentres, in the Netherlands events exceeding magnitude 1.5–2.0 may be felt by the public. These events can potentially damage houses and infrastructure, and undermine public acceptance. Felt events were induced by gas production in the north of the Netherlands and by post-mining water ingress in the south-east. Notorious examples are the earthquakes induced by gas production from the large Groningen gas field with magnitudes up to 3.6. Here, extensive non-structural damage incurred and public support was revoked. As a consequence, production will be terminated in 2022 leaving approximately 800 billion cubic metres of gas unexploited. The magnitudes of the events observed at underground gas storage, geothermal heat production and salt solution mining projects have so far been very limited (magnitudes ≤ 1.7). However, in the future larger events cannot be excluded. Project- or industry-specific risk governance protocols, extensive gathering of subsurface data and adequate seismic monitoring are therefore essential to allow sustainable use of the Dutch subsurface now and over the decades to come.

Original languageEnglish
Article number202114
Number of pages20
JournalGeologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • fault reactivation
  • Induced seismicity
  • Netherlands
  • seismic hazard
  • subsurface engineering

Cite this