Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Europe: Study Pinpoints Possible Geothermal Resource in the Rhine Valley

The heat of the Upper Rhine Graben as a future energy supplier? (GFZ)

Under what conditions does the underground serve as a supplier for geothermal energy? Within the EU funded project IMAGE (Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration), the PhD student Jessica Freymark investigates the characteristics of the Upper Rhine Graben and its potential as a supplier for geothermal energy.

Together with colleagues from the GFZ, the RWTH Aachen, the TU Darmstadt, and the Hessian Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology, she now has published her results in Tectonophysics.

The new model provides information on temperatures and processes of heat transport in the underground of the whole region, beyond single wells. This way the scientists were able to identify three promising areas with an enhanced geothermal gradient: the Upper Rhine Graben and adjacent areas of Baden-Württemberg and Northeastern France. The investigations of the team therewith provide a basis for future geothermal energy production in the whole area.

Freymark, J., Sippel, J., Scheck-Wenderoth, M., Bär, K., Stiller, M., Fritsche, J.-H., Kracht, M., 2017. The deep thermal field of the Upper Rhine Graben. Tectonophysics 694, 114-129. DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.11.013

Read More........                            More information on the project.........