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PhD positions on fluid flows in enhanced geothermal systems at Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (source: flickr/ kyz, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 1 Jan 2019

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburg, Scotland in the UK has published two funded PhD opportunities related to geothermal energy with an application deadline of February 1, 2019.

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburg, Scotland in the UK has published two funded PhD opportunities related to geothermal energy with an application deadline of February 1, 2019.

The positions/ research topics:

The Effects of Fluid Flow on the Transport Properties of Faults in Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Successful operation of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGSs) requires easy flow of geothermal fluids. Pre-existing faults often provide low permeability pathways for fluid flow. However, such faults may be reactivated during geothermal operations, potentially leading to induced seismicity. Whether or not fault movement leads to induced seismicity depends on the fault frictional properties, which is affected by a range of factors, including the fault rock composition. Both permeability and frictional properties can be affected by the flow-through of the undersaturated solutions involved in geothermal operations, which can lead to mineral dissolution and precipitation, as such changing the (connected) porosity and the fault rock composition.  (Read more via Find a PhD)

Surface-based modelling of tensorial fluid flow in fractured systems – application to modelling subsurface energy from petroleum and geothermal resources

Fluid flow in the subsurface occurs in both porous rock matrices and in open fractures. Matrix flow is conventionally modelled in 3D cellular grids through which fluid flow is modelled in finite difference simulators. Such simulators are poorly designed to address flow in fractures, particularly in situations where fractures are not pervasive such as in fault damage zones or in tensile fracture swarms, in which length scales, and hence required cell sizes, vary dramatically. Although such features are extremely common in nature, flow though these networks is poorly captured using conventional modelling techniques yet forecasting flow in the subsurface is fundamental in resource industries.

New techniques of surface-based modelling (Rapid Reservoir Modelling, ‘RRM’) have been developed at Heriot-Watt IPE in collaboration with other institutions and have a clear application to the problem of fluid flow in irregular fractures networks, currently unexplored. It is proposed to apply these techniques (or others) with a view to developing new workflows with practical application to improve forecasts of subsurface flow in irregularly fractured media. (read more via Heriot Watts University)

Source: Find a PhDHeriot Watt University