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Geothermal Supermodels

GNS Science & the University of Auckland
Funding: MBIE
Contact: John Burnell

This four year New Zealand- based research programme seeks to develop next generation integrated geothermal modelling tools, including a new flow simulator, geophysical and geochemical codes, and the linkages between them.

Existing geothermal modelling tools were designed over 25 years ago and are increasingly unable to cope with modern demands, both in computational practicality and in resolving resource specific and scientific questions. Today, numerical models are used for financial project planning and geothermal field management, and are required to be considerably more detailed than previous generations.


1. Core geothermal reservoir numerics - develop core modules for the flow simulator, assess ideas and methods to reduce computational time, and address estimation of critical geological, chemical and physical input parameters.

2. Modelling geothermal reservoir processes - develop new modules for the flow simulator to couple with key processes (e.g. chemistry, fracture flow, rock mechanics). A common approach will be (i) developing a framework for coupling into the simulator; and then (ii) developing specific modules using that framework. The complexity of each module will differ.

3. Coupling, constraining and validating reservoir models - develop improved modelling tools, couple them with the flow simulator, and carry out model validation.