Dr. MohammadReza Jalali
Lecturer & Researcher
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)
The Swiss government has decided to phase out nuclear power production by 2034 and transition to electricity production by alternatives such as hydro-power plants and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). In this context, the newly-founded Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Supply of Electricity (SCCER-SoE) is conducting various types of research and development. As a part of the ongoing research, a hydraulic stimulation experiment, called In-situ Stimulation and Circulation (ISC), has been initiated at the Grimsel Test Site (GTS). The main objectives of this experiment are to study and explore
• Fundamental process involved during large volume fluid injection at high pressure to create an efficient and sustainable heat exchanger in hot reservoirs at depth below 3 km.
• Spatio-temporal characterization of induced seismicity such as relative size distribution, stress drop, the relevance of static and dynamic stress transfer as fault reactivation mechanisms, and the decay rate of seismic activity.
• Various injection protocols with the potential to mitigate seismicity through maintaining event magnitude below an acceptable threshold.
• Novel monitoring and imaging techniques for pressure, temperature, stress, strain and displacement as well as geophysical methods such as ground penetration radar (GPR), passive and active seismic.
The ISC experiment is split into four phases, pre-stimulation, stimulation, post-stimulation and circulation phases; each phase includes planning and performing of intense field investigation followed by data analysis that guides design of the subsequent phase.
The ISC experiment is designed such that stimulation processes, i.e. shear dilatancy, seismic and aseismic slip front propagation, and the resulting enhancement of the fracture conductivity, are recorded in a unique interdisciplinary dataset. The data will include information on THM coupled processes and induced seismicity that could not be obtained from stimulation experiments in deep reservoirs typically targeted for EGS. This dataset also allows us to address the objectives as well as validation and verification of the existing THM and induced seismicity models.
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