Plate boundary deformation and man-made subsidence around geothermal fields on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland

Marie Keiding, Thóra Árnadóttir, Sigurjon Jonsson, Judicaël Decriem, Andrew John Hooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data from 1992-1999 and 2003-2008 as well as GPS data from 2000-2009 for the active plate boundary on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest Iceland. The geodetic data reveal deformation mainly due to plate spreading, anthropogenic subsidence caused by geothermal fluid extraction and, possibly, increasing pressure in a geothermal system. Subsidence of around 10. cm is observed during the first 2. years of production at the Reykjanes geothermal power plant, which started operating in May 2006. We model the surface subsidence around the new power plant using point and ellipsoidal pressure sources in an elastic halfspace. Short-lived swarms of micro-earthquakes as well as aseismic fault movement are observed near the geothermal field following the start of production, possibly triggered by the stresses induced by geothermal fluid extraction. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume194
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

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