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COTHERM - COmbined hydrological, geochemical and geophysical modelling of geotTHERMal systems

English title COTHERM - COmbined hydrological, geochemical and geophysical modelling of geotTHERMal systems
Applicant Driesner Thomas
Number 141843
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Institut für Geochemie und Petrologie ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geophysics
Start/End 01.09.2012 - 31.08.2015
Approved amount 938'798.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geophysics
Geochemistry

Keywords (6)

reactive transport modeling; fluid-rock interaction; geochemistry; numerical simulation; geophysics; geothermal

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

The COTHERM project aims at a better understanding of the subsurface processes in natural high-temperature geothermal systems that are becoming an attractive alternative energy resource. Such systems form when groundwater is flowing around a magma body at depth, gets heated and then rises to the surface. How long the geothermal system is active and how much energy the fluid carries depends mostly on the depth and size of the magma body and on the permeability of the surrounding rocks. Both are difficult to assess from the surface without dense and expensive drilling. Using the examples of two different geothermal systems in Iceland that have been drilled for geothermal energy exploitation, COTHERM will pursue four interconnected sub-projects to advance our knowledge about these systems and to develop improved geochemical and geophysical  techniques for monitoring and imaging of geothermal systems :

(1) Computer simulations to understand how strongly the water gets heated and how much hot water can flow through different rock types and in different geological settings.

(2) Computer-aided modeling of how fast the hot water can dissolve minerals from the rock and precipitate others, which may influence or even block the pathways of the hot water.

(3) Use the rock properties, flow paths and temperature distribution predictions from the above two sub-projects to simulate how geophysical methods could be used to probe the underground system structure without drilling.

(4) Collect geochemical, mineralogical, and geophysical data at the two systems in Iceland to compare the simulation results of sub-projects 1 to 3 with actual data in order to refine, validate, and integrate these different approaches.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Differential alteration of basaltic lava flows and hyaloclastites in Icelandic hydrothermal systems
Thien Bruno, Kosakowski Georg, Kulik Dmitrii (2015), Differential alteration of basaltic lava flows and hyaloclastites in Icelandic hydrothermal systems, in Geothermal Energy , 3, 11.
Geologic controls on supercritical geothermal resources above magmatic intrusions
Scott Samuel, Driesner Thomas, Weis Philipp (2015), Geologic controls on supercritical geothermal resources above magmatic intrusions, in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 6, 7837.
Seismic velocity structure of a fossilized Icelandic geothermal system: A combined laboratory and field study
Grab Melchior, Zürcher Benjamin, Maurer Hansruedi, Greenhalgh Stewart (2015), Seismic velocity structure of a fossilized Icelandic geothermal system: A combined laboratory and field study, in Geothermics, 57, 84-94.
A simple way to constrain the stoichiometry of secondary smectites upon aqueous glass alteration
Thien Bruno (2014), A simple way to constrain the stoichiometry of secondary smectites upon aqueous glass alteration, in Applied Geochemistry, 42, 45-46.
Hydrothermal, multiphase convection of H2O-NaCl fluids from ambient to magmatic temperatures: a new numerical scheme and benchmarks for code comparison
Weis P., Driesner T., Coumou D., Geiger S. (2014), Hydrothermal, multiphase convection of H2O-NaCl fluids from ambient to magmatic temperatures: a new numerical scheme and benchmarks for code comparison, in GEOFLUIDS, 14(3), 347-371.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of Geophysics, Chang’an University, Xian China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Geophysics Department, Schlumberger Cambridge Research Centre Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Petroleum Engineering, Montan Universitaet Leoben Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
School of Earth and Space Exploration Arizona State University, USA - Aqueous speciation and biogeo United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, MIT, USA - Sulfur geochemistry in hydrothermal systems United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
HS Orka power company Iceland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
CNRS Toulouse, France - Geochemistry France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Landsvirkjun Power Company Iceland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Dr. Barbara Lothenbach, EMPA Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Nationale Gesellschaft für die Lagerung von radioaktiven Abfällen (NAGRA) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Iceland GeoSurvey Iceland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
University of Edinburgh, Prof. Dr. Andrew Curtis Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Petroleum Engineering, Heriot Watt University Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Thomas Wagner, Helsinki University Finland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Geophysics Group, University of Adelaide Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Olaf Kolditz, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzi Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA), Oxford Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Talk given at a conference Fluid-rock interactions in Icelandic hydrothermal systems 21.11.2015 Basel, Switzerland Kosakowski Georg; Thien Bruno; Kulik Dmitrii;
IMAGE Mid-Term-Conference Poster Seismic velocity structure of a fossilized Icelandic geothermal system: A combined laboratory and field study 12.10.2015 Pisa, Italy Maurer Hansruedi; Grab Melchior Samuel; Greenhalgh Stewart;
NES Colloquium at Paul Scherrer Institut Talk given at a conference Evolution of Icelandic hydrothermal systems: implications for nuclear waste management 23.09.2015 Villigen, Switzerland Thien Bruno;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Task 1.2 Reservoir Modeling and Validation: Overview of Current Projects 11.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference Poster COTHERM - Seismic response to fluid effects in fractured media 11.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Maurer Hansruedi; Grab Melchior Samuel; Greenhalgh Stewart;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference Poster Geologics controls on supercritical fluid resources above magmatic intrusions 11.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Driesner Thomas; Scott Samuel Warren;
SCCER-SoE Annual Conference Poster Fluid-rock interactions in Icelandic hydrothermal systems 10.09.2015 Neuchatel, Switzerland Kosakowski Georg; Thien Bruno; Kulik Dmitrii;
25th Goldschmidt Conference Talk given at a conference Multicomponent Fluid Chemistry of the High-Enthalpy Geothermal System, Krafla Volcano, NE Iceland 16.08.2015 Prague, Czech Republic Hermanska Matylda; Stefansson Andri;
77th EAGE Conference and Exhibition Talk given at a conference Seismic Velocity Structure of a Fossilized Icelandic Geothermal system 01.06.2015 Madrid, Spain Greenhalgh Stewart; Maurer Hansruedi; Grab Melchior Samuel;
IPGT workshop on reservoir modelling Individual talk IPGT-related reservoir modelling in Switzerland 25.04.2015 Wellington, New Zealand Driesner Thomas;
World Geothermal Congress Talk given at a conference Hydrology of a Supercritical Flow Zone Near a Magmatic Intrusion in the IDDP-1 Well - Insights from Numerical Modeling 19.04.2015 Melbourne, Australia Scott Samuel Warren; Driesner Thomas;
World Geothermal Congress Talk given at a conference Fluid Chemistry Scenarios Anticipated for IDDP-2 to Be Drilled in Reykjanes, Iceland 19.04.2015 Melbourne, Australia Stefansson Andri;
World Geothermal Congress Talk given at a conference A New Generation of Numerical Simulation Tools for Studying the Hydrology of Geothermal Systems to “Supercritical” and Magmatic Conditions 19.04.2015 Melbourne, Australia Scott Samuel Warren; Driesner Thomas;
6th European Geothermal PhD Day Talk given at a conference Geochemistry of the high-temperature and high-enthalpy geothermal system, Krafla, NE Iceland 25.02.2015 Delft, Netherlands Hermanska Matylda; Stefansson Andri;
AGU Fall Meeting 2014 Poster Reactive transport in 3D models of irregularly fractured rock masses 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Driesner Thomas;
AGU Fall Meeting 2014 Poster Geochemistry of Multicomponent Fluid Phases in the Krafla High-Enthalpy Geothermal System, NE Iceland 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Hermanska Matylda; Stefansson Andri;
AGU Fall Meeting Poster Porosity evolution in Icelandic hydrothermal systems 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Thien Bruno; Kosakowski Georg; Kulik Dmitrii;
AGU Fall Meeting 2014 Talk given at a conference Carbon and sulfur isotopes as tracers of fluid-fluid and fluid-rock interaction in geothermal systems 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Stefansson Andri;
AGU Fall Meeting 2014 Poster Geochemistry of Multicomponent Fluid Phases in the Krafla High-Enthalpy Geothermal System, NE Iceland 15.12.2014 San Francsisco, United States of America Hermanska Matylda; Stefansson Andri;
AGU Fall Meeting 2014 Poster Geological controls on supercritical fluid resources in volcanic geothermal systems 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Driesner Thomas; Scott Samuel Warren;
Hubbert Quorum 2014 Talk given at a conference Supercritical geothermal resources 14.12.2014 Menlo Park CA, United States of America Scott Samuel Warren; Driesner Thomas;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster What key factors control the rock alteration in Icelandic hydrothermal systems? 22.11.2014 Fribourg, Switzerland Thien Bruno; Kosakowski Georg; Kulik Dmitrii;
NES Colloquium at Paul Scherrer Institut Talk given at a conference Evolution of Icelandic hydrothermal systems: implications for nuclear waste management 22.11.2014 Fribourg, Switzerland Scott Samuel Warren; Driesner Thomas;
1st Bochum Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Monitoring and Characterization Poster Seismic Velocities of Icelandic Geothermal Systems: A Rock Phyiscs Laboratory-, Filed and Modeling Study 03.09.2014 Bochum, Germany Grab Melchior Samuel; Maurer Hansruedi; Greenhalgh Stewart;
ICC 2014 - The International Carbon Conference Poster Multicomponent fluid chemistry within multiphase system around cooling plutons with relation to the Krafla geothermal system, NE Iceland 25.08.2014 Reykjavik, Iceland, Iceland Hermanska Matylda; Stefansson Andri;
International Partnership on Geothermal Energy Meeting Talk given at a conference Supercritical Resources and Deep Roots of Geothermal Systems: An example of an active and successful IPGT Collaboration 04.06.2014 Gerzensee BE, Switzerland Driesner Thomas;
Third International Conference on Computational Methods for Thermal Problems THERMACOMP2014 Talk given at a conference Numerical modeling of the thermal structure and evolution of hydrothermal systems 02.06.2014 Lake Bled, Slovenia Scott Samuel Warren; Driesner Thomas;
EGU General Assembly 2014 Poster COTHERM: Geophysical Modeling of High Enthalpy Geothermal Systems 27.04.2014 Vienna, Austria Grab Melchior Samuel; Greenhalgh Stewart; Maurer Hansruedi;
EGU General Assembly 2014 Poster COTHERM: Modelling fluid-rock interactions in Icelandic geothermal systems 27.04.2014 Vienna, Austria Kulik Dmitrii; Kosakowski Georg; Thien Bruno;
EGU General Assembly 2014 Poster COTHERM: Numerical modeling of the deep roots of volcanic geothermal systems 27.04.2014 Vienna, Austria Driesner Thomas; Scott Samuel Warren;
EGU General Assembly 2014 Poster COTHERM - COmbined hydrological, geochemical and geophysical modeling of geotTHERMal systems 27.04.2014 Vienna, Austria Stefansson Andri; Kosakowski Georg; Grab Melchior Samuel; Maurer Hansruedi; Hermanska Matylda; Kulik Dmitrii; Greenhalgh Stewart; Thien Bruno; Scott Samuel Warren; Driesner Thomas;
Swiss Cement Meeting Talk given at a conference Aqueous glass dissolution - Effect of Mg, pH, and secondary phases 24.03.2014 Bern, Switzerland Thien Bruno;
AGU Fall Meeting 2013 Poster Enthalpy and Phase Relations in Saline Geothermal Fluids to "Supercritical" Conditions 09.12.2013 San Francisco, United States of America Driesner Thomas;
AGU Fall Meeting 2013 Poster Numerical modeling of the thermo-physical hydrology of volcanic geothermal systems 09.12.2013 San Francisco, United States of America Driesner Thomas; Scott Samuel Warren;
ICDP Workshop: Japan Beyond-Brittle Project, JBBP - Scientific drilling to demonstrate the feasibility of engineered geothermal systems in ductile zones Talk given at a conference How can fluids flow throughvery hot (nominally ductile) rock? 12.03.2013 Sendai, Japan Driesner Thomas;
IDDP-ICDP Workshop Talk given at a conference COTHERM - COmbined hydrological, geochemical,and geophysical modeling ofgeotTHERMal systems 03.09.2012 Svartsengi, Iceland, Iceland Stefansson Andri; Driesner Thomas;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
SCCER-SoE PhD School 13.10.2015 Grimsel Hospiz, Switzerland
Joint COTHERM & DRG workshop 18.06.2015 Reykjavik, Iceland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Informal meeting between COTHERM reserachers and reservoir engineers to prepare collaboration and knowledge transfer 10.09.2013 Reykjavik, Iceland Scott Samuel Warren; Driesner Thomas;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Knowledge exchange with partner companies (Landsvirkjun, HS Orka) 18.06.2015 Reykjavik, Iceland
Training meetings at Landsvirkjun Power Company, Iceland 09.09.2014 Reykjavik, Switzerland
Two week training for scientists and Icelandic reservoir engineers in the use of the CSMP++ software for reservoir modeling 06.01.2014 ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Awards

Title Year
Best poster award at 6th European PhD Geothermal Day in Delft 2015 2015
Geofluids Best Paper 2014 2015
Outstanding Student Paper Award (AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco 2014) 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
135302 Quantitative Modeling of Ore-Forming Hydrothermal Systems 01.04.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
146651 Mineral resources: Physical dynamics driving chemical enrichment of rare metals 01.04.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
160757 COTHERM2 - COmbined hydrological, geochemical and geophysical modelling of geotTHERMal systems II. 01.09.2015 Sinergia

Abstract

We propose an integrative research project to advance our understanding of the sub-surface processes of magmatically-driven, natural geothermal systems that comprises four subprojects (SPs): SP 1 “The thermo-physical hydrology of geothermal systems” builds on novel numerical techniques that have demonstrated that characteristic styles of geothermal systems predictably develop in response to geological parameters. The simulation results will provide reference models as input to the other sub-projects. SP 2 “Geochemical reactive transport modeling of fluid-rock interaction” models chemical alteration of host rocks due to the circulation of geothermal fluids and investigates the role of reaction kinetics in that process. Modeling will be constrained by field-based insights from SP 4.SP 3 “Characterizing geothermal systems with geophysical methods” will use results from SPs 1 and 2 for realistic modeling of diverse geophysical data sets, and for conducting synthetic inversion experiments to better understand what features of geothermal systems can be reliably detected. The resulting synthetic geophysical data sets will provide key information for future field experiments.SP4 “Conceptual and quantitative view of the dynamics of active geothermal systems” will use existing and collect new data to develop field-based models of two different case study sites in Iceland (the meteoric water-dominated Krafla, and the seawater-dominated Reykjanes systems), to provide field constraints to the other SPs, and use results from them for improving the system models.To the best of our knowledge, this proposed project is the only one that can perform such an integrative research approach on an internationally leading level of all contributors. We think that even most bilateral interactions in this project are of an internationally novel character (in particular, all combinations of geochemical and geophysical approaches). The project will start out with generic modeling strategies in SPs 1-3 that will gradually be improved towards application to the two case studies by mutually building on each other's results and by incoporating lessons learned from the actual systems of SP4. Eventually, integrated models of the case study sites shall be extablished based on a strong integration of the different approaches and the field data obtained. We expect that the highly integrated, collaborative research will lead to an unprecedented quantitative understanding of the dynamic evolution of geothermal systems, and the fundamental geological and physical controls on their subsurface structure and dynamics.A major educational advantage of the project is that four young scientists from different geoscience sub-disciplines will work together and will to learn to communicate across boundaries. Our project will establish a new network of highly sought-after, innovative young researchers who will ideally also function as multipliers for integrative research approaches towards better understanding the highly coupled, complex processes in geothermal systems.
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