Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The November 2017 Pohang Earthquake Likely Human-caused!

This post concerns the unexpected side effects that science and technology can sometimes create.  As reported widely in the local media, including the Korea Joongang Daily, citizens from Pohang demonstrated outside the national assembly yesterday to demand compensation for damage caused by the November 2017 earthquake.
The quake was the second largest to hit Korea and my wife and I felt it in our apartment here in Songdo (Incheon).
As reported in the Korea Joongang Daily, "An international research group led by the Geological Society of Korea announced in March that the quake in Pohang in November 2017 was likely triggered by the government’s geothermal power experiments. The group analyzed 520 earthquakes in Pohang, North Gyeongsang, from January 2009 to November 2017, of which around 240 took place within three miles of a site where the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy were experimenting with the Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS), a technology that turns geothermal power into electricity and involves the fracturing of hot underground rock with pressurized liquid, known as hydraulic stimulation. According to the group, there were at least five hydraulic stimulations from the EGS experiments that significantly disturbed faults in the area, which, in turn, triggered the Pohang earthquake in November 2017."