Drilling into seismogenic zones of M2.0 – M5.5 earthquakes from deep South African gold mines (DSeis): establishment of research sites

the DSeis Team

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While mining-induced earthquakes in the deep gold mines of South Africa pose a risk to mines, mineworkers, and the public, they also provide an unusual opportunity to study the physics of earthquakes. The source zone of a M5.5 earthquake that occurred near Orkney, South Africa on 5 August 2014 was well-defined by tens of thousands of aftershocks recorded by instruments deployed as part of a Japanese - South African research project. The upper edge of the M5.5 rupture is located several hundred metres below the mining horizon. A proposal to drill into the M5.5 source zone, as well as several other active faults in other deep mines, was approved by the International Continental scientific Drilling Programme (ICDP) in August 2016. Here we describe the scope and objectives of the project, and the selection and preparation of the principal drilling sites. In addition to the studies of earthquake phenomena, some of the holes will be used by geomicrobiologists to investigate deep microbiological activity fuelled by hydrogen released by seismic rupture to address questions about early life on planet Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISRM AfriRock - Rock Mechanics for Africa
PublisherInternational Society for Rock Mechanics
Pages237-248
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781920410995
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
EventISRM AfriRock 2017 - Rock Mechanics for Africa - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 2017 Oct 32017 Oct 5

Publication series

NameISRM AfriRock - Rock Mechanics for Africa
Volume2017-October

Other

OtherISRM AfriRock 2017 - Rock Mechanics for Africa
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town
Period17/10/317/10/5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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  • Cite this

    the DSeis Team (2017). Drilling into seismogenic zones of M2.0 – M5.5 earthquakes from deep South African gold mines (DSeis): establishment of research sites. In ISRM AfriRock - Rock Mechanics for Africa (pp. 237-248). (ISRM AfriRock - Rock Mechanics for Africa; Vol. 2017-October). International Society for Rock Mechanics.