Strasbourg city center, November 27, 2020. -
FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP
A new earthquake, of magnitude 3.5 according to the National Seismic Monitoring Network (Rénass), was felt this Friday morning in the metropolitan area of Strasbourg, where the continuation of a geothermal project was recently stopped after previous episodes seismic.
The Rénass classified this earthquake which occurred at 6:59 am as "induced", that is to say caused by human activity.
The epicenter of the earthquake is located near a site hosting a geothermal power plant project led by the Fonroche company north of Strasbourg, in the communes of Vendenheim and Reichstett.
"Even more need to wake up"
On this site, two wells were dug at a depth of 5 kilometers in order to pump hot underground water to exploit its energy potential on the surface, before reinjecting it into the subsoil.
The shaking was quickly commented on on social media.
“In Strasbourg, we don't even need an alarm clock anymore,” @ Ameliveicanflyy wrote on Twitter.
“Hop a small earthquake at 7 am everyone is awake”.
Many Internet users are calling for the end of geothermal activities in Reichstett-Vendenheim.
After a first magnitude 3.1 earthquake that occurred on November 12, 2019, and whose epicenter had been recorded 5 kilometers from the geothermal site, the site's activities were stopped by the Bas-Rhin prefecture.
Studies carried out to understand the origin of this shock have not made it possible to decide between the hypothesis of an earthquake of natural origin or of induced origin.
In October, tests were carried out on the geothermal site.
They were followed by new repeated tremors, ten in two weeks between the end of October and the beginning of November, which led the Bas-Rhin prefecture to suspend operations.
Fonroche admitted that these tremors of the past two months were due to his tests.
“Another earthquake at 6:59 am this morning near Strasbourg (…) we could all feel it #ReNass.
The 11th in a month is a lot and revives the debate on deep geothermal energy.
The debate must be complete and transparent, ”said Alain Fontanel, Strasbourg opposition councilor on Twitter.
Earthquakes in Strasbourg: "The area concerned is hypersensitive", explains Jean Schmittbuhl, research director at CNRS
Strasbourg: Despite the earthquakes, the city wants to continue geothermal energy