Preliminary studies for an integrated assessment of the hydrothermal potential of the Pechelbronn Group in the northern Upper Rhine Graben

Hintze, Meike; Plasse, Barbara; Bär, Kristian; Sass, Ingo

The northern Upper Rhine Graben is due to its tectonic setting and the positive geothermal anomaly a key region for geothermal heat and power production in Europe. In this area the Upper Eocene to Lower Oligocene Pechelbronn Group reaches depths of up to 2800 m with temperatures of locally more than 130 inline-formulaC. In order to assess the hydrothermal potential of the Pechelbronn Group a large dataset is compiled and evaluated. Petrophysical parameters are measured on core samples of eight boreholes (courtesy of Exxon Mobil). Additionally, 15 gamma-ray logs, 99 lithology logs as well as more than 2500 porosity and permeability measurements on cores of some of these boreholes are available.

The Lower Pechelbronn Beds are composed of fluvial to lacustrine sediments, the Middle Pechelbronn Beds were deposited in a brackish to marine environment and the Upper Pechelbronn Beds consist of fluvial/alluvial to marine deposits. In between the western and eastern masterfaults of the Upper Rhine Graben several fault blocks exist, with fault orientation being sub-parallel to the graben shoulders. During the syntectonic deposition of the Pechelbronn Group these fault blocks acted as isolated depocenters, resulting in considerable thickness and depositional facies variations on the regional and local scale (few tens to several hundreds of meters).

Laboratory measurements of sonic wave velocity, density, porosity, permeability, thermal conductivity and diffusivity are conducted on the core samples that are classified into lithofacies groups. Statistically evaluated petrophysical parameters are assigned to each group. The gamma-ray logs serve to verify the lithological classification and can further be used for correlation analysis or joint inversion with the petrophysical data.

Well data, seismic sections, isolines and geological profiles are used to construct a geological 3-D model. It is planned to use the petrophysical, thermal and hydraulic rock properties at a later stage to parametrize the model unit and to determine, together with the temperature and thickness of the model unit, the expected flow rates and reservoir temperatures and thus the hydrothermal potential.



Hintze, Meike / Plasse, Barbara / Bär, Kristian / et al: Preliminary studies for an integrated assessment of the hydrothermal potential of the Pechelbronn Group in the northern Upper Rhine Graben. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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