Reservoir Development

Electron microscope image of minerals; transport modelling of the Soultz reservoir KIT
Minerals at a fracture surface in the EM; Flow and transport simulation of the fracture network in the Soultz-sous-Forêts resrevoir.

Achieving optimal exploitation of geothermal resources through sustainable use strategies is one of the main objectives of our geothermal research activities, based on a comprehensive description and in-depth understanding of reservoirs. This includes the characterization of the thermal, hydraulic, mechanical and chemical properties and their interactions in the reservoir.

Some research and activity fields of our team are

  • Evaluation and interpretation of seismic sections
  • Geological and tectonic site analyses
  • Construction of 3D structural and reservoir models
  • Hydraulic characterization of fault and fracture zones
  • Geothermal potential assessments
  • Microseismicity-based reservoir characterization

Numerical modelling of coupled water, heat and transport processes is used, for example, to describe processes and mechanisms during reservoir stimulation qualitatively and quantitatively, or to forecast utilization strategies in the long-term operation of geothermal power plants. Hydrothermal and petrothermal reservoirs in the Upper Rhine Graben and the Molasse Basin as well as high-enthalpy reservoirs outside Germany are scientifically accompanied by our team.

The construction of a geothermal power plant requires the exploration of the underground geothermal reservoir at an early stage. The resource must be explored using indirect methods. In addition to the location of the underground reservoir, further characteristics such as structure, temperature and geology of the reservoir must be determined. Once the first boreholes have been drilled, further exploration measures of the reservoir are required.

We carry out our exploration activities in different geological regions. Among others, we are active in rift systems (Upper Rhine Graben), in the granitic basement (Black Forest) and in high-enthalpy regions.