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Friday, 05 November 2021 23:39

Scientists' discovery about seismicity in the Arctic will have an impact on the development of fossils

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Scientists of the Federal Research Center for Integrated Arctic Studies of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have proved that processes on the mid-Ocean ridges of the Arctic Ocean affect the seismic activity of the Arctic shelf, Novaya Zemlya and the north of the East European Platform, and this activity should be taken into account when developing minerals and building engineering facilities, said Galina Antonovskaya, Head of the Department of Seismology.

The phenomenon is caused by the spread of tectonic stresses that create an additional load in the lithosphere. The process is called deformation waves or "perturbation transmission". "These processes can serve as a trigger of seismicity. The disturbance moves and activates the process of releasing seismic energy. As a result, one area becomes more seismically active, then another," Antonovskaya said.

At the same time, earthquakes occur where there are some weakened areas: faults or discontinuous disturbances. The source of deformation waves are tremors in large tectonic faults in the earth's crust, which are characteristic of mid-oceanic ridges, where the process of pushing apart lithospheric plates occurs.

Galina Antonovskaya explained that there is not much data on the seismicity of the Russian part of the Arctic. To understand the processes that occur in the earth's crust, it is necessary to develop a network of seismic stations. Information about possible earthquakes is needed to build maps of seismic zoning. Such documents indicate the maximum possible earthquake intensity for a given area. There are several types of maps: for mass construction, for objects of increased responsibility and especially responsible objects, and separately for nuclear facilities.

During the extraction of hydrocarbons on the shelf, so-called induced seismicity may occur - that is, the extraction of oil or gas leads to the occurrence of earthquakes. "For example, in the North Sea, when active hydrocarbon production began at Ekofisk (Ekofisk is a gas and oil field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, 350 km northeast of the village of Teesside), an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1 occurred," Antonovskaya noted. - The bottom has settled, and huge funds have been invested in restoration work, including well repairs. Oil platforms were raised to avoid flooding and a special concrete wall was built to protect the oil storage from waves."

It is also necessary to take into account the possibility of earthquakes when laying pipelines along the bottom of the Arctic shelf. "Even a small earthquake in intensity, but occurred in the area of laying the pipeline, can lead to its rupture. An ecological catastrophe is inevitable," she added. "Therefore, it is important to study in detail from a seismological point of view the nature of each earthquake that occurred in the Russian sector of the Arctic, in order to avoid negative consequences after the start of oil production."

Source: https://nauka.tass.ru/nauka/12815569

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