Thematic Core Service "Anthropogenic Hazards" Implementation Phase Summary

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Glenda Jones,
Grzegorz Lizurek,
Dorota Olszewska,
Joanna Kocot, Piotr Salek


Ian Stimpson


The EPOS Newsletter
Special issue 04
2019 | Article 07

TCH AH web page:
Groningen Episode - data provided by KNMI
Sample application localized in workspace (from D14.7 Evaluation report on the testing phase for TCS AH services).
TCS-AH Consortium Meeting 8 May 2019 participants, Pisa, Italy. Photo courtesy of Grzegorz Lizurek.
TCS-AH Research Infrastructure Demonstration at EPOS-IP Final Meeting in September 2019, Madrid, Spain. Photo courtesy of Ian Stimpson.

TCH AH web page:

Groningen Episode - data provided by KNMI

Sample application localized in workspace (from D14.7 Evaluation report on the testing phase for TCS AH services).

TCS-AH Consortium Meeting 8 May 2019 participants, Pisa, Italy. Photo courtesy of Grzegorz Lizurek.

TCS-AH Research Infrastructure Demonstration at EPOS-IP Final Meeting in September 2019, Madrid, Spain. Photo courtesy of Ian Stimpson.

The Thematic Core Service for Anthropogenic Hazards (TCS AH) provides an innovative and accessible digital environment to enable e-research into anthropogenic hazards related to the exploration and exploitation of geo-resources via the IS-EPOS platform (Figure 1). The platform provides a comprehensive research infrastructure with services for data processing, analysis and visualization alongside grouped datasets, called "Episodes" and collaborative workspace features. Each episode provides time correlated industrial data (e.g. oil/gas production data, fluid injection rates, water reservoir levels) with geophysical data (e.g. induced/triggered seismicity, ground deformation) and associated geo- and metadata (e.g. bedrock geology, monitoring station positions) to facilitate episode and/or method oriented research and studies into cause and effect. Under the framework of EPOS-IP, episodes and services on the IS-EPOS platform (initially established under the IS-EPOS POIG.02.03.00-14-090/13-00 project as a working prototype) have been greatly extended to include a more diverse range of anthropogenic hazards, 19 new episodes, 30 new applications and ICS interoperability.

Operational TCS AH Data (Episodes) & Services
Episodes on the IS-EPOS platform are assigned to "impact factor" categories indicating the industry/anthropogenic activity associated with the episode contained data. Impact factor categories prior to the EPOS Implementation Phase (EPOS-IP) consisted of underground mining, reservoir impoundment and geothermal energy production. New episodes integrated under the framework of EPOS-IP have expanded the data in this core range and seen the successful introduction of episodes under several new "impact factor" divisions to include:

  • CO2 storage
  • unconventional hydrocarbon extraction
  • conventional hydrocarbon extraction
  • wastewater injection

Currently, there are 35 episodes on the IS-EPOS platform with data from sites situated mainly in Europe, but also from Asia and North America (Table 1). Site visitors are able to preview the descriptions of these (e.g. Figure 3), however, full access to any unrestricted data therein and the IS-EPOS integrated services and workspace requires registration (restrictions are governed by embargoes with durations no longer than 3 years according to TCS AH policy). Accompanying each episode is a unique DOI for citation and a document repository providing documents and references associated with the episodes.

Throughout EPOS-IP, 19 new episodes have been integrated, 7 pre-existing episodes have been updated/expanded in addition to continuous work on episodes provided by external project collaborations (e.g. from the H2020 projects SHEER (Shale gas Exploration and Exploitation Induced Risks) and S4CE (Science 4 Clean Energy) (Table 1*). The majority of data is currently stored and maintained at the IG PAS local data centre and eNode "Induced Seismicity Research Infrastructure Center" (CIBIS) in Poland but also at the "Data Centre for Deep Geothermal Energy" (Centre de Données de Géothermie Profonde - CDGP)/e-node in France, which provides data from the Upper Rhine Graben geothermal sites (i.e. 1993-2005 Soultz-sous-Forêts Episodes).


Table 1. TCS AH Episodes & Interoperability with ICS

Supplementary to the episodes/data on the IS-EPOS platform, are over 50 data services (applications) consisting of low level software services for data browsing, selection and visualisation and high level applications and tools for advanced data processing and analysis (Table 2). Recent notable developments in the IS-EPOS platform applications include new workflow related functionalities such as autorun, seismogram analysis, and new data support and visualisation services (e.g. for gravity monitoring, oil and water production, reservoir pressures and shallow velocity profiles). Applications integrated in the TCS AH platform constitute practical software tools that have been developed according to techniques developed and published in peer-reviewed journals. Users can perform both didactic and research activities and results of the applications can be downloaded, changed in format, visualized and be used as input for further analysis and/or used in reports, publications. Tools for assessing the potential relationships between anthropogenic operations and induced seismic/deformation processes are grouped in an “earthquake-interactions” toolbox. Quality control of two new applications, “Earthquake interactions” and “Time correlated earthquakes”, on the test platform was conducted. This allows the comparison of potentially induced earthquakes with natural tectonic ones and, by reshuffling catalogues, can test against randomness.

Applications belonging to the Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis category allow analyses towards time dependent and stationary hazard parameter assessments. The user can assess exceedance probability, maximum credible magnitude, mean return period, activity rate, the Gutenberg-Richter b-value, and other parameters, under time varying and stationary conditions for various local environmental and technological cases.

The Source Parameters Estimation applications group is formed by advanced services allowing for earthquake hypocenter location estimation using the probabilistic inverse theory approach, resolving seismic moment tensors using various decomposition schemes, estimation of effective stress drop release during the seismic sequence, or for calculation of P and S waves spectral levels and corner frequencies estimation using the Snoke algorithm.


Table 2. List of thematically grouped applications available for the TCS AH users.

Interoperability with ICS
Interoperability with the EPOS Integrated Core Service (ICS) required integration of the TCS AH episode and application metadata scheme with the metadata scheme of the ICS-C. It was completed at various levels, both at the episode level as well as at an episode building blocks level, for 30k records. Presently the virtual access to IS-EPOS platform episodes and applications is available through ICS (see Tables 1 & 2). Thanks to the metadata integration/interoperability, the IS-EPOS Platform data and applications are discoverable through ICS. The direct access to TCS-AH episodes with the possibility of downloading episode elements is offered by the IS-EPOS Platform Virtual Access. The data download is possible for all users authenticated through the ICS AAAI system, only with exception to restricted data that might require additional permissions. The TCS AH authentication and authorization system is fully integrated with the ICS AAAI system, therefore, there is no need for additional TCS AH account creation for the ICS users. Moreover, the TCS AH users can also sign in to ICS with their TCS AH account.

Community Building & Results Exploitation
Community building, dissemination and outreach efforts throughout EPOS-IP have resulted in platform users increasing by over 700% since the launch of the project in 2015. There are now more than 1000 IS-EPOS registered users from 130 institutions and over 30 countries. This has been achieved via a significant WP14 team effort in community building, platform training and workshop delivery. Platform training and workshops were organised to teach the scientific community the usability of the provided data sets, applications and platform possibilities and have been delivered at IG PAS (Poland), at GFZ Potsdam (Germany), University of Oulu (Finland) and Keele University (UK). Integrating the IS-EPOS platform into university teaching as an educational and effective research resource within the TCS AH partner countries and institutions has also contributed to increasing platform use. For example the UOulu utilised the platform in their Mining geophysics course at Oulu Mining School, CNRS used the platform in their GeoRisk Masters course component on Anthropogenic seismicity at the University of Grenobles, and an IS-EPOS platform training workshop for students and young researchers also took place at the Swedish partner institution Lulea University of Technology. Similar training events have also been undertaken in INERIS France, INGV Bologna, Italy and for teachers in Poland in the frameworks of ERIS and SCIENTIX (STEM Discovery week, March/April 2018). The functionality and usage of the TCS AH platform was additionally promoted and advertised at many scientific conferences within Europe and beyond by the TCS AH work package members in the form of posters, scientific and professional talks and by getting into direct personal contact with different communities (scientific, industrial, academic, young- and senior scientists). To further disseminate these outputs and build an online presence and increase awareness of the TCS, website and social media content, including online TCS AH specific news bulletins and a dedicated YouTube channel containing “how to” demonstrations of applications were also produced.

Currently, data and results obtained via the TCS AH platform have been published over 25 times, including in a special issue of Acta Geophysica: SHEER "Environmental footprints induced by geo-energy exploitation: the shale gas case”, peer-reviewed conference proceedings/journals and in various external project newsletters (for SHEER, SERA and S4CE projects). The results have also been extensively used in Ph.D theses and habilitations.

In May 2019, a successful series of TCS-Anthropogenic Hazards events were held in Italy, including the final EPOS IP WP14 annual meeting, a consortium meeting and an Anthropogenic Hazards scientific workshop. Representatives from 11 European institutions including task leaders and representatives from the working groups and eNodes discussed progress and plans for the future beyond the end of the implementation phase such as the integration of a US Cotton Valley hydraulic fracturing Episode, the creation of a new eNode in co-operation with the University of Helsinki, future CIBIS system updates and the development of 3D and GIS visualisations. Talks from external project partners also took place to explore prospective data and collaborative industry opportunities from future geothermal energy (Sorgenia), mining (LKAB) and gas storage developments (Edison Stoccaggio SpA).

A TCS-AH scientific workshop was also held to show stakeholders the current and emerging data, Episodes and services on the platform and to provide an opportunity to both present novel methods, tools, data or ideas that could be integrated, and  gain stakeholder feedback on the services through a discussion forum. The event saw 40 in attendance with stakeholders from industry (Ramboll, Central Mining Institute (GIG) and Mining Group PGG), the Italian government ministry MISE and academia (The Italian Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS), the Universities of Vienna, Oulu and Pisa plus representatives from 11 of the WP14 partner universities and institutions).

In September 2019 a summary of the technical, organisational and community building achievements of TCS AH were presented at the Final EPOS IP meeting in Madrid. To demonstrate the successes of the implementation phase, a live demonstration of the IS-EPOS platform was given to showcase the platform capabilities in terms of TCS-ICS integration as well as the availability of the information about anthropogenic hazards and the potential on-line usage of the data and applications. A use-case scenario from the perspective of a non-specialist (e.g. public citizen) was delivered focusing on episode data from the Legnica-Głogów Copper District to highlight how much users can learn about anthropogenic hazards and seismicity (particularly the possible anthropogenic hazards of ground shaking due to mining operations). Online entry to the platform via the ICS was shown along with the episode concept, data browsing and use of search tools. Integration between the IS-EPOS platform and ICS in real time was therefore verified with practical applications not only for researchers and academia, but also for societal knowledge transfer (in this case allowing citizens (but also government and industry stakeholders) to learn about anthropogenic hazards from accessible site and industry specific data.