The German Federal Ministery for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU, Berlin) has granted GeoResources´directors Rainer Zählke and Thilo Bechstädt a three-year research project: “Characterization and numerical modeling of structural and sedimentary geothermal reservoirs”.

The project includes two parts, with part I focused on facies, seismic calibration & prediction and Part II on diagenetic analysis. The main rationale is to adapt and further develop existing techniques applied in hydrocarbon exploration for future geothermal exploration. The research area is located in the Upper Rhine Graben, Germany.

Key approaches include terrestrial LIDAR scanning and spectral Gamma Ray logging in outcrops, reservoir modeling of outcrop analogues and subsurface reservoirs as well as PSDM seismic simulation. Diagenetic analyses are based on petrographic microscopy including cold and hot cathodoluminescence, Xray diffractometry, isotope geochemistry and microthermometry.

Both projects are part of the research program AuGE – “Outcrop-reservoir analogue studies and their application to geothermal exploration”. Cooperating organisations and companies include the Universities of Heidelberg, Erlangen and Göttingen, GeoThermal Engineering GmbH (Karlsruhe) and GeoEnergy GmbH (Karlsruhe).

AuGE has been initiated and is coordinated by Geothermal Engineering GmbH (Dipl.-Geol. A. Wenke). The research group includes more than 20 scientists covering sedimentary geology, structural geology, reservoir analysis, hydrocarbon and geothermal exploration. All results from AuGE will be published in international peer-reviewed magazines.

Three PhD students are conducting research at the University of Heidelberg supervised by Rainer Zählke and Thilo Bechstädt. The project is located at the Institute of Geosciences.