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NOTE: This project concluded in May 2012, and was succeeded by the follow-on project GEOTHERM-2 that began in May 2013. A report summarizing the results of the GEOTHERM project can be downloaded here:

Geothermal Reservoir Processes:

Research towards the creation and sustainable use of Enhanced Geothermal Systems

A consortium of research groups from ETH Zürich, EPF Lausanne, the Paul Scherrer Institute and the University of Bonn, are collaborating in a comprehensive program of basic research on key aspects of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGSs). The work will contribute to understanding and developing an alternative and sustainable energy resource free of CO2-emission. Novel observation techniques and new process-simulation tools are being developed. An important objective is to understand the hydro-mechanical processess that occurred in the Basel EGS reservoir during the injection that led to the ML 3.4 earthquake by analysing data provided by the industrial developers of the EGS Project as an 'in-kind' contribution to Geotherm. The overall aim of the project is to better understand the relevant processes and improve the predictability of EGSs for more extensive use in Switzerland and worldwide. The project consists of five research modules:

  1. Insights into permeability creation from wellbore observations
  2. Insights into permeability enhancement processes from analysis of seismic waveforms
  3. Modelling the permeability creation process in EGS reservoirs with application to Basel project.
  4. Modelling fluid–rock interaction & scale formation during geothermal heat extraction
  5. Sustainable development of geothermal energy in the urban environment

Presentations given at the kick-off meeting held on Oct. 6th, 2008, can be found here.

Keywords: Enhanced Geothermal Systems, Hot Dry Rock Reservoir stimulation, microseismicity, fluid-rock interaction, geothermal reservoir simulation

Disciplines: Earth sciences, environmental sciences, land planning

Project Leader

Module Leaders (alphabetical order)

Industrial Partners

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