Geothermal: Correlations of geothermal, electric and acoustic properties of subsurface rocks
This Master's project is available from the intake of autumn 2023. Please note the prerequisites for this project. Contact the listed supervisors for more information.
Subsurface rocks may be characterized by various physical properties along with their geological foundation, composition, and texture. Seismic data, for instance, reveal their elastic or acoustic properties and densities, which, subsequently, applying rock physics relations, are used to estimate reservoir quality in terms of porosity, fluid content and fluid pressure. In prospecting for subsurface geothermal energy there is a need to better understand correlations between seismic, electric and geothermal parameters of various types of rocks. The thesis work is to address such correlations.
Hypothesis (scientific problem):
Rock physics modelling implies to allocate various physical properties to various constituents composing the rock, infer some geometrical distribution of the various constituents, and then apply a set of physical relations to estimate the overall physical properties of the composite rock. There exist a variety of rock physics models, but they vary with the type of physical properties to be estimated and the textural complexities of the rock. The problem to be scrutinized is to allocate appropriate rock physics models for joint modelling of both geothermal, electrical and seismic properties. By modelling how the various (modelled) physical parameters vary with altered composition and texture of the rock, this makes it possible to study the corresponding various correlations between the different parameters. The scientific problem is to obtain correlations from modelling experiments and discuss the validity of the results.
The thesis work is first to review various rock physics models which can be used to estimate heat capacity, heat conductivity and electric resistivity (conductivity). Then, these models are to be used to study how these parameters potentially alter for various types of rock composition and texture. Subsequently, these results are to be compared also with use of well-known theories for modelling seismic parameters (elasticity, density, velocities) for the same alteration in rock properties. Finally, the work is to correlate the various modelled parameter responses to altered (reservoir) rock conditions.
Bachelor in geophysics