Continuous Microgravity Monitoring in a Volcanic Geothermal Field: Integrated Observational Approach in Þeistareykir, NE Iceland.

Kemal Erbas, Florian Schäfer, Ásgrímur Guðmundson2, Egill Júlíusson, Gylfi Páll Hersir, Richard J. Warburton, Jean-Daniel Bernard, Nolwenn Portier, Jacques Hinderer, Vincent Drouin, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, Kristján Ágústsson3, Benjamin Männel, Andreas Güntner, Christian Voigt, Tilo Schöne, Arthur Jolly, Hreinn Hjartasson, D.F. Naranjo Hernandez, Philippe Jousset

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


In volcanic and hydrothermal geosystems, monitoring of mass and stress changes provide information for both volcanic hazardassessment and estimation of geothermal resources. The combined continuous recording of the gravity field and ground motionwith sufficient accuracy in an active volcano-tectonic setting allows a better understanding of the mass and stress transfermechanisms that produce short term gravity changes and local seismic activity. The aim is to gain a better understanding ofgeothermal system processes by addressing short-term mass changes within geothermal reservoirs in relation to external influencessuch as anthropogenic (reservoir exploitation) and natural forcing (local and regional earthquake activity and earth tides). Thiscontributes to knowing the reservoir properties, structure and long-term behaviour.Þheistareykir (Northeast Iceland), where the geothermal power production started in autumn 2017 (2x45 MWe) is the site chosenfor this unique experiment. The overall goal of the project is to use a network of continuously measuring gravity meters to detectsmall variations in gravity associated with managing a geothermal field (injection and extraction). The gravity changes are expectedto be small: ~5 µgal/6 months (1 µgal=10-8 ms-2). Therefore, high performance and up-to-date instrumentation such assuperconducting gravity meters (SG), spring gravity meters and broadband seismometers are used. To achieve these goals, inautumn 2017 a network of 5 relative gravity meters (3 iGravs and 2 gPhones) and 14 seismic stations were deployed. Three gravitymonitoring sites are in close vicinity to the production and injection area, and one iGrav is set up outside the geothermal field forreference. Presented in this report are the details of the infrastructure and instruments deployed and the first results of more than 18months of continuous gravity and seismicity monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberpaper 13124
JournalProceedings World Geothermal Congress 2020. Reykjavik, Iceland, April-October 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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