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Structure, Heat & Fluid Flow

Characterisation of structure, stress and rheology of reservoir formations to better understand the controls on water/heat flow within them. Also, the study of faulting and volcanic processes in a back-arc setting on contemporary to million-year timescales to improve understanding of the relationships between rifting, volcanism, geothermal systems and plate boundary tectonics.

Research Collaborators: University of Auckland

Task 1: Fracture Characterisation

  • Structure and stress characterisation of TVZ geothermal reservoirs determined from borehole logs, borehole acoustic images, well testing and outcrop analogue studies to assess structural contributions to fluid flow in fractured rock
  • Characterisation of greywacke basement rocks
  • Rock property testing - laboratory testing of selected TVZ core, shallow rocks and surface outcrops (thermal properties, porosity, density etc.).
  • Developing rock property maps of NZ
  • Geomechanical and physio-chemical conditions determined conducive to fluid flow in fractured rock.
  • Characterising fracture-hosted geothermal resources outside the TVZ
  • Characterising structure and stress associated with the NZ deep geothermal drilling project

Task 2: Rifting & Fault Analysis  (Task Leader: Pilar Villamor)

  • Conceptual model for the variability of earthquake recurrence and slip on individual faults
  • Understanding of rifting processes over timescales of years to hundreds of thousands of years improved; preliminary 4D model of the long-term evolution of rifting in the central North Island
  • Linking active faulting and volcanism to the formation of geothermal systems in the Taupo Volcanic Zone
  • Models of rifting and volcanism in the central and western North Island placed into a plate boundary context