Suitability of Legacy Subsurface Data for Nascent Geoenergy Activities Onshore United Kingdom

Ireland, Mark T., Brown, Rachel, Wilson, Miles P., Stretesky, Paul, Kingdon, Andrew and Davies, Richard J. (2021) Suitability of Legacy Subsurface Data for Nascent Geoenergy Activities Onshore United Kingdom. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9. p. 629960. ISSN 2296-6463

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The decarbonization of energy systems to achieve net zero carbon emissions will likely see the rapid development of carbon capture and storage, energy storage in the subsurface and geothermal energy projects. Subsurface data, in particular seismic reflection surveys and borehole data are vital for geoscientists and engineers to carry out comprehensive assessments of both the opportunities and risks for these developments. Their cost of acquisition means that such legacy data are commonly the only mechanism for site selection so biased data distribution must be accommodated. Here, legacy subsurface data from United Kingdom onshore hydrocarbon and coal exploration in the United Kingdom are collated and reviewed for their suitability for geoenergy activities. We provide a description of the spatial coverage and a chronology of the acquisition of key seismic reflection and borehole data, as well as examine data resolution and limitations. We discuss the implications of spatial variability in subsurface datasets and the associated subsurface uncertainty as this is vitally important to understanding the suitability of data for decision making. We examine societal aspects of data uncertainty and discuss that when the same data are used to communicate subsurface uncertainty and risk, the source of the data should also be considered, especially where data are not easily publicly accessible. Understanding the provenance and quality criteria of data are vitally important for future geoenergy activities and public confidence in subsurface activities. Finally, we ask should there be minimum data collection criterion, such as resolution requirements, ahead of subsurface activities with potentially significant impacts to the environment, economy, and society?

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work has in part been funded by the Natural and Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project: Assessing and monitoring the United Kingdom Shale Gas Landscape (UKSGL) (Grant ref NE/R017492/1); Impact of hydraulic fracturing in the overburden of shale resource plays: Process-based evaluation (SHAPE-UK) (Grant Ref: NE/R01745X/1); and The Social Construction of Unconventional Gas Extraction: Toward a greater understanding of socio-economic impact of unconventional gas development (NE/R018146/1).
Uncontrolled Keywords: data, geoenergy, public perception, geothermal, unceratinty, energy policy
Subjects: F600 Geology
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
L400 Social Policy
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2021 10:18
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 10:33

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