Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Science & Technology: How Geothermal Fluids Flow Through Fractured Rocks

The science of hot fluids in cracked rocks (Voxy.co.nz)

Dr Cécile Massiot
Research by a Victoria University of Wellington PhD graduate has improved understanding of how underground hot fluids flow through fractured rocks, which will help in the development of geothermal energy.

A study by Dr Cécile Massiot, who graduated last week with a PhD in Geophysics, focused on determining the nature of the cracks-or fractures-that control the circulation of fluids in the Earth’s crust.

"There are myriads of fractures underground, but a common challenge in geosciences is mapping where they are, how big they are, and which ones actually serve as pathways for fluids," says Dr Massiot.

"Identifying the characteristics of those fractures that guide fluids is critical for the exploration and management of geothermal renewable resources, which currently accounts for nearly a quarter of New Zealand's electricity supply."