Solute tracer test quantification of the effects of hot water injection into hydraulically stimulated crystalline rock
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
When water is injected into a fracture-dominated reservoir that is cooler or hotter than the injected water, the reservoir permeability is expected to be altered by the injection-induced thermo-mechanical effects, resulting in the redistribution of fluid flow in the reservoir. These effects are important to be taken into account when evaluating the performance and lifetime particularly of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). In this paper, we compare the results from two dye tracer tests, conducted before (at ambient temperature of 13∘C) and during the injection of 45∘C hot water into a fractured crystalline rock at the Grimsel Test Site in Switzerland. Conducting a moment analysis on the recovered tracer residence time distribution (RTD) curves, we observe, after hot water injection, a significant decrease in the total tracer recovery. This recovery decrease strongly suggests that fluid flow was redistributed in the studied rock volume and that the majority of the injected water was lost to the far-field. Furthermore, using temperature measurements, obtained from the same locations as the tracer RTD curves, we conceptualize an approach to estimate the fracture surface area contributing to the heat exchange between the host rock and the circulating fluid. Our moment analysis and simplified estimation of fracture surface area provide insights into the hydraulic properties of the hydraulically active fracture system and the changes in fluid flow. Such insights are important to assess the heat exchange performance of a geothermal formation during fluid circulation and to estimate the lifetime of the geothermal formation, particularly in EGS. Show more
Journal / seriesGeothermal Energy
Pages / Article No.
SubjectGeothermal energy; Tracer test; Moment analysis; Hot water injection; Hydraulic Stimulation; Crystalline rock; Fractured reservoirs
Organisational unit02282 - SCCER-SoE / SCCER-SoE
09494 - Saar, Martin O. / Saar, Martin O.
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Is supplemented by: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000348073
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