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New Tools for Terrain Gravimetry

Objective

Poor knowledge of the spatio-temporal changes in the characteristics and distribution of subsurface fluids remains an insurmountable barrier to addressing important societal issues, including: sustainable management of energy resources (e.g. hydrocarbons and geothermal energy), management of water resources, and assessment of hazard (e.g. volcanic eruptions). Gravimetry is highly attractive because it can detect changes in subsurface mass, thus providing a window into processes that involve deep fluids. However, high cost and operating features associated with current instrumentation seriously limits the practical field use of gravimetry.
NEWTON-g proposes a radical change of paradigm for gravimetry to overcome such limitations. We aim at developing a field-compatible gravity imager able to real-time monitor the evolution of the subsurface mass changes through continuous images of the gravity field. This system will include an array of low-costs MEMS-based relative gravimeters anchored on an absolute quantum gravimeter. The adjustable position, grid and shape of the array of sensors and the continuous logging of the gravimeters will provide imaging of gravity changes, associated with variations in subsurface fluid properties, with unparalleled spatio-temporal resolution.
Specific work will be carried out to ruggedize the devices for field operation. We will deploy the new gravity imager at Etna volcano (Italy), where frequent gravity fluctuations, easy access to the active structures and the presence of a multiparameter monitoring system (including traditional gravimeters) ensure an excellent natural laboratory for testing the new tools. Insights from the new gravity imager will be used for volcanic hazards analysis, to demonstrate the importance of gravity to problems of societal relevance. A successful implementation of NEWTON-g will open new doors for geophysical exploration and will shift the locus of gravimeter manufacture from North America to Europe.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-1-2016-2017
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Coordinator

ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI GEOFISICA E VULCANOLOGIA
Address
Via Di Vigna Murata 605
00143 Roma
Italy
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 764 250

Participants (5)

MUQUANS
France
EU contribution
€ 890 775
Address
Rue Francois Mitterrand Institut D'optique D'aquitaine
33400 Talence
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 808 661,25
Address
University Avenue
G12 8QQ Glasgow
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KONINKLIJK NEDERLANDS METEOROLOGISCH INSTITUUT-KNMI
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 329 815
Address
Utrechtseweg 297
3731 GA De Bilt
Activity type
Research Organisations
HELMHOLTZ ZENTRUM POTSDAM DEUTSCHESGEOFORSCHUNGSZENTRUM GFZ
Germany
EU contribution
€ 308 012,50
Address
Telegrafenberg 17
14473 Potsdam
Activity type
Research Organisations
UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 303 575
Address
Rue Du General Dufour 24
1211 Geneve
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments