HIKE Background

Energy, mineral resources and groundwater are intrinsically related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Exploitation of these resources is not always without risk to citizens and the environment. The HIKE project aims to stimulate the development of common information repositories and a knowledge sharing infrastructure in order to support induced hazard and risk assessments at the geological survey organizations and other research institutions. Ultimately this could lead to a more effective and uniform approach on management of subsurface risks.

Hazard and risk management is key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are there to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects for all citizens. Access to clean and secure energy, mineral resources and groundwater is an intrinsic aspect in this regard. These commodities are inevitably connected with subsurface activities that may pose a risk to the environment and human health. Examples are production of geothermal energy, storage of renewable energy, mining of critical minerals for zero-carbon technologies, extraction of ground water and sequestration of waste. Through the drilling of wells or the extraction and injection of substances, the state of the subsurface will be altered. This includes the thermochemical and geomechanical characteristics, in-situ stress state, and composition of formations and fluids which can ultimately lead to impacts at surface (e.g. ground motions, surface deformation) and to other vulnerable resources (e.g. ground- and surface waters). The challenge is to minimize and control these impacts based on proven practices and reliable and transparent information and knowledge.

Towards a European service supporting subsurface hazard and impact research

HIKE focused on three main objectives:

Through these objectives the HIKE project aimed to provide a stepping stone to integrate, harmonize and implement knowledge and information on subsurface hazards and impacts throughout Europe.

There is a huge opportunity to improve risk and hazard management across European countries

The assessment of risks mostly takes place in the context of local projects. As a consequence there is a great diversity in methods and practices applied while data sets are often heterogeneous and maintained in different repositories. The level of knowledge varies greatly among the different European institutions and strongly depends on the maturity of subsurface activities and the locally existing regulatory frameworks for risk management. Within the HIKE project we took a first important step towards reducing these differences and facilitating a level playing field for hazard assessment. First of all by demonstrating various subsurface hazard case studies in which transnational integration is a key focus. Secondly by setting up a European Knowledge SharePoint for risk and hazard documents that is founded on novel intelligent searching and integration principles.

Geological faults are a key feature in risk assessments

Faults are omnipresent in the subsurface and represent planar features along which movements take place (e.g. earthquakes) or fluids may migrate to groundwater formations or surface environment. Although some databases existed for seismogenic faults (i.e. faults that generate natural earthquakes), there are far more other faults that could pose hazards that are induced by nearby subsurface activities. In WP2, HIKE developed a European Fault Database in which the spatial distribution and attributes of these faults are stored and made publicly available for various studies and applications.

The HIKE project has operated in close cooperation with GeoConnect3D, HotLime and 3DGeo-EU. The HIKE project included the following work packages:

WP1Project Coordination
WP1 governs the overall coordination and communication tasks of the project, including progress monitoring, financial administration, project decisions, internal communication, central coordination of interactions with other GeoERA projects and general dissemination of the project to external stakeholders.
WP2Fault Database Europe
WP2 focuses on the development of a European Fault Database including the processing and characterization of fault information at the geological surveys of Europe and other fault data repositories. This WP also governs cross-cutting interactions with other projects that either provide or utilize fault information (in particular GeoERA projects HotLime, 3DGEO-EU and GeoConnect3D.
WP3Methods and Use Cases
WP3 focuses on methodology development and related hazard and impact research in selected case studies across Europe by studying the mechanisms that can lead to adverse consequences of subsurface exploitation for energy and storage (e.g. seismicity, subsidence, fluid migration, sealing & leakage).
WP4Synthesis and Implementation
WP4 compiles the current state of art regarding hazard and impact assessments in Europe and establishes recommendations and a platform for knowledge and data sharing among the geological surveys of Europe and relevant stakeholders.
WP5Information Platform Interface
WP5 governs the interactions with the GeoERA Information Platform, in particular with respect to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Fault Database and Knowledge SharePoint. This WP will also be responsible for the implementation of the Project Data Management Plan.

The following partner organizations have contributed to the HIKE project:
#Participant Legal NameInstitutionCountry
1Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek TNOTNONetherlands
2Albanian Geological SurveyAGSAlbania
3Geologische BundesanstaltGBAAustria
4Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences – Geological Survey of BelgiumRBINS-GSBBelgium
5Geological Survey of Denmark and GreenlandGEUSDenmark
6Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et MinièresBRGMFrance
7Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und RohstoffeBGRGermany
8Landesamt für Bergbau, Geologie und Rohstoffe BrandenburgLBGRGermany
9Landesamt für Geologie und Bergwesen Sachsen-AnhaltLAGBGermany
10Bayerisches Landesamt für UmweltLfUGermany
11Islenskar orkurannsoknir – Iceland GeoSurveyISORIceland
12Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca AmbientaleISPRAItaly
13Servizio Geologico, Sismico e dei Suoli della Regione Emilia-RomagnaSGSSItaly
14Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale del PiemonteARPAPItaly
15Lietuvos Geologijos Tarnyba prie Aplinkos MinisterijosLGTLithuania
16Państwowy Instytut Geologiczny – Państwowy Instytut BadawczyPIG-PIBPoland
17Laboratório Nacional de Energia e GeologiaLNEGPortugal
18Geološki zavod SlovenijeGeoZSSlovenia
19State Research and Development Enterprise State Information Geological Fund of UkraineGEOINFORMUkraine