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Geology, geochemistry & modelling

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Geology

Geologists study surface rocks, drill core and drilling cuttings. They interpret the structure of active geothermal systems, the permeability, and the character of geological formations.

Mineralogical analyses provide information on the chemistry and temperature of fluids that are, or have been, present in the system. This can be used to suggest geothermal reservoir temperatures.

Techniques such as microscopy, XRD and fluid inclusion analysis can provide information about past and present interaction between geothermal fluids and subsurface rocks.

geothermal sampling
Geochemistry

Geochemists can analyse gas, fluid and solid samples collected from surface geothermal features (e.g. hot pools, fumaroles, and geysers) as well as subsurface environments (e.g. downhole and well discharges)

Parameters tested include temperature, isotopic ratios, conductivity and ratios of common elements and compounds.

Radioactive and/or chemical tracers can be used to assess the influence of geological features such as faults on water movement, and to locate underground connections between wells.

reservoir modelling geothermal
Reservoir modelling

A reservoir model is a computer model used to visualise the geothermal reservoir.

They can provide a static description of the reservoir (e.g. geological structure) as well as being used to simulate the flow of fluids within the reservoir naturally and during production.