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IES Seminar Series

Fri, 07/12/2018 - 12:30 to 13:30


3rd Floor Meeting Room

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Free admission

Gabrielle Stockmann (Faculty of Earth Sciences)

Title: Can Groundwater predict Earthquakes?

Date: Friday, 7th December
Time: 12:30
Place: 3rd Floor meeting room, Askja

Abstract: Since 2002, Stockholm University has been monitoring groundwater chemistry in boreholes close to Húsavík in northern Iceland. The purpose of the monitoring is to follow changes in groundwater chemistry in response to crustal stress and earthquakes. The Húsavík area was selected due to its proximity to the Húsavík-Flatey Fault and the stress build-up within the Tjörnes Fracture Zone, where a M6-7 earthquake can be expected in the future. One borehole passes through the fault plane of one of the major faults, and a second borehole is located at Hafralækur app. 10 km south of Húsavík. The two boreholes are being monitored on a weekly basis for major cations and anions, pH and stable isotopes, and occasionally trace elements. Changes in trace elements and stable isotopes were observed prior to a M5.8 earthquake in 2002, whereas changes in major cations and stable isotopes were observed 2-6 months before two swarms of earthquakes in 2012-13. Hence, can groundwater predict earthquakes and/or what could be causing these changes? 

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