Mission Statement

The Geothermal Energy & Geofluids group is endowed by the Werner Siemens Foundation and investigates reactive fluid (water, CO2, CxHy, N2) and (geothermal) energy (heat, pressure) transfer in the Earth’s crust employing computer simulations, laboratory experiments and field analyses to gain fundamental insights and to address a wide range of societal goals and concerns. ➞ Read More

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GEG News


Doctoral Examination Batmagnai Erdenechimeg

On March 3, 2023, Batmagnai Erdenechimeg has successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled: “Magnetotelluric exploration of intermediate temperature geothermal systems and mineral resources in central Mongolia”.


Dr. Paromita Deb – Heitfeld Award

December 2022, RWTH Aachen
Dr. Paromita Deb has been given the Dr. Karl-Heinrich Heitfeld Award for the best doctoral thesis in the Division of Earth Sciences and Geography.

Read more – link to RWTH Aachen


Doctoral Examination Isamu Naets

On October 28, 2022, Isamu Naets has successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled: “A pore scale investigation of fluid flow heterogeneity and solute transport in rough-walled fractures”.


Ending EGC2022 with great results and a new destination for EGC2025 in Zurich

The biggest geothermal event in Europe has ended. More than 1300 participants attended EGC2022. The next EGC2025 will be held in Zurich, from 6 to 10 October 2025, organized by Geothermie Schweiz and co-organized by ETH Zurich.


Doctoral Examination Po-Wei Huang

On September 16th, 2022, Po-Wei Huang has successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled: “Reactive transport modeling at the pore scale and upscaling to the Darcy scale”.


CO2-Plume Geothermal (CPG) power plants combine geologic CO2 storage with geothermal energy extraction.
© Shannon Gilley
Inexhaustible resource of clean, renewable Geothermal Energy.
© ETH Zurich

By 2050, geothermal energy can cover 25% of Switzerland’s heating needs in a CO2-neutral way. © Daniel Stegmann

Grimsel rock laboratory, safer drilling methods.
© 3sat nano

GEG Events

02.05.2023    14:15-15:15
Coupled reservoir/wellbore simulations of multi-phase multi-component systems

Serhat Kücük (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich

09.05.2023    14:15-15:15
AEGIS-CH: Status Update after first 10month.

Andreas Reinicke Reinicke (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich

16.05.2023    14:15-15:15
Project presentation: Non-Darcy to Darcy transition of natural convection in porous media.

Dario Schwendener (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich

23.05.2023    14:15-15:15
Update work progress

Luise Dambly (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich

06.06.2023    14:15-15:15
update numerical simulation 1

Lily Suherlina (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich

27.06.2023    14:15-15:15
Updates or final report

Batmagnai Erdenechimg (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich

Newest GEG Papers

Refereed journal papers accepted the last 6 months

Underlined names are links to current or past GEG members

Permeability evolution during pressure-controlled shear slip in saw-cut and natural granite fractures
Li, Z., X. Ma, X.-Z. Kong, M.O. Saar, and D. Vogler, Rock Mechanics Bulletin, 2023. [Download PDF] [View Abstract]Fluid injection into rock masses is involved during various subsurface engineering applications. However, elevated fluid pressure, induced by injection, can trigger shear slip(s) of pre-existing natural fractures, resulting in changes of the rock mass permeability and thus injectivity. However, the mechanism of slip-induced permeability variation, particularly when subjected to multiple slips, is still not fully understood. In this study, we performed laboratory experiments to investigate the fracture permeability evolution induced by shear slip in both saw-cut and natural fractures with rough surfaces. Our experiments show that compared to saw-cut fractures, natural fractures show much small effective stress when the slips induced by triggering fluid pressures, likely due to the much rougher surface of the natural fractures. For natural fractures, we observed that a critical shear displacement value in the relationship between permeability and accumulative shear displacement: the permeability of natural fractures initially increases, followed by a permeability decrease after the accumulative shear displacement reaches a critical shear displacement value. For the saw-cut fractures, there is no consistent change in the measured permeability versus the accumulative shear displacement, but the first slip event often induces the largest shear displacement and associated permeability changes. The produced gouge material suggests that rock surface damage occurs during multiple slips, although, unfortunately, our experiments did not allow quantitatively continuous monitoring of fracture surface property changes. Thus, we attribute the slip-induced permeability evolution to the interplay between permeability reductions, due to damages of fracture asperities, and permeability enhancements, caused by shear dilation, depending on the scale of the shear displacement. (Paper accepted 2022-12-22)
Mapping conduits in two-dimensional heterogeneous karst aquifers using hydraulic tomography
Wang, X., X.-Z. Kong, L. Hu, and Z. Xu, Journal of Hydrology, 617, 2023. [Download PDF] [View Abstract]Hydraulic tomography (HT) is a well-established approach to yield the spatial distribution of hydraulic conductivity of an aquifer. This work explores the potential of HT for the characterization of the distribution and connectivity of conduits in a two-dimensional sandbox and its corresponding synthetic aquifer. Two inversion techniques were implemented and compared: the geostatistics-based inversion which uses the simultaneous successive linear estimator (SimSLE) algorithm to conduct stochastic inversions on the transient hydraulic heads, and the travel time-based inversion which employs the simultaneous iterative reconstruction technique (SIRT) algorithm on the hydraulic travel times for tomography reconstructions. Four artificial karst conduits of different geometries were placed in an aquifer of layer with different hydraulic conductivities. We conducted 6 pumping tests at 6 different locations, and the resultant pressure responses were recorded at 42 observation points in both the sandbox and the corresponding synthetic aquifer. The measured data were then used for the inversion of hydraulic diffusivity using the SimSLE and SIRT algorithms. Our results show that both algorithms were able to approximately identify the embedded karst conduits and yield similar hydraulic diffusivity distribution. Statistically, the travel time-based inversion re-constructed high-contrast diffusivities which clearly differentiate the karst structures from the surrounding matrix. The geostatistics-based SimSLE algorithm yields a better agreement on the positions and the shapes of the embedded karst structures, compared to those obtained by the travel time-based SIRT algorithm. Uncertainties and limitations of our results are also discussed in this work, followed by recommendations on hydraulic tests in karst aquifers. (Paper accepted 2022-12-19)