Structural characterisation of geothermal fields

Geothermal fields might become a major energy source in the near future and important structural problems are the relationships between the local and regional stress field, joint patterns and the characterization of fluid pathways. For exploration and production, the stimulation of reservoirs through hydraulic fracturing and their potential monitoring by magnetotelluric methods are major topics.
Our innovative work allows to show graphically how the stress tensor controls the opening of joints and fractures in fault zones. This has implications for fracture connectivity and thus 3D permeability of fault zones. A current project investigates fault zone permeability in central Germany but similar work can be carried out along fault zones in the South Island or the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

Slip tendency map for fault system in central Germany.