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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.


Safe geothermal energy


© 3sat nano – TV broadcast from Tuesday 9 May on 3sat nano

Scientists are searching for safer drilling methods: geothermal energy can provide sustainable and clean energy right where we need it – however seismicity may be induced. Scientists at ETH Zurich investigate how to prevent these earthquakes.

Link to video

Top Ranking for ETH Zurich’s Earth Sciences


© ETH Zürich / Marco Carocari

Earth and marine sciences at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich was ranked the best in the world. The results were recently published by the QS World University Rankings.
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New Course Geofluids


© ETH Zurich / Alessandro Della Bella

This semester the new course ‘Geofluids’, offered by the GEG Group, within the Earth Science Masters Program counts 32 registered students.
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The rock crackers


© Daniel Winkler, ETH Globe

ETH Zurich researchers working at NAGRA’s Grimsel rock laboratory have retreated deep inside the mountain. By fracturing solid rock, they are hoping to re-examine the feasibility of geothermal power plants based on petrothermal technology. (ETH Globe, 01/2017)
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Current Videos

macarthur_100mchange_video_linkInexhaustible resource of clean, renewable Geothermal Energy.
© ETH Zurich
Grimsel rock lab, feasibility of geothermal power plants.
© ETH Zurich
Grimsel rock laboratory, safer drilling methods.
© 3sat nano
A short film about ETH Zurich.
© ETH Zurich



To percolate or not to percolate: a dynamic response of phase exsolution in a porous medium

Xiang-Zhao Kong (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich read more



EERA Joint Programme on Geothermal Energy SP4 Status Report

Anozie Ebigbo (contributed talk)
EERA JPGE General Assembly 2017, Mol, Belgium read more


Evolution of hydrogeochemical properties during reactive flow-through experiments using CO2-bearing solution

Xiang-Zhao Kong (invited talk)
Geochemistry of Geothermal Fluids Workshop, University of Miskolc, Hungary read more


New insights from 3D MT finite-element inversion into a volcanic geothermal system in Ethiopia

Friedemann Samrock (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich read more


Investigating the influence of in-fracture variability on transport in fracture networks

Philipp Schaedle (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich read more


Alteration of hydrogeochemical properties during reactive flow-through experiments on sandstone specimen using CO2-charged brine

Xiang-Zhao Kong (invited talk)
15th Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Davos, Switzerland read more


Visualization of flow and mineral precipitation in fractured porous media

Mehrdad Ahkami (GEG group presentation)
GEG Meetings, ETH Zurich read more

Papers Alert

A Hybrid Geothermal Energy Conversion Technology – A Potential Solution for Production of Electricity from Shallow Geothermal Resources

Garapati, N., B.M. Adams, J.M. Bielicki, P. Schaedle, J.B. Randolph, T.H. Kuehn, and M.O. Saar
Energy Procedia, 114, pp. 7107-7117, 2017. Download

A Comparison of Tensile Failure in 3D-Printed and Natural Sandstone

Vogler, D., S.D.C. Walsh, E. Dombrovski, and M.A. Perras
Engineering Geology, 226, pp. 221-235, 2017. Download

Displacement Mechanisms of Air Injection for IOR in Low Permeability Light Oil Reservoirs

Ezekiel, J., R. Shaoran, Z. Liang, and W. Yuting
International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 16/1, pp. 1-26, 2017. Download

Numerical study on CO2 leakage detection using electrical streaming potential data

Büsing, H., C. Vogt, A. Ebigbo, and N. Kitzsch
Water Resour. Res, 53, pp. 1-15, 2017. Download

Comparison of Surface Properties in Natural and Artificially Generated Fractures in a Crystalline Rock

Vogler, D., S.D.C. Walsh, P. Bayer, and F. Amann
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, pp. 1-19, 2017. Download

On the impact of spatially heterogenous permeability on free convection in the Perth Basin, Australia

Niederau, J., A. Ebigbo, G. Marquart, J. Arnold, and C. Clauser
Geothermics, 66, pp. 119-133, 2017. Download

An overview of computational methods for chemical equilibrium and kinetic calculations for geochemical and reactive transport modeling

Leal, A.M.M., D.A. Kulik, W.R. Smith, and M.O. Saar
Pure and Applied Chemistry, 89/5, pp. 597-643, 2017. Download

Permeability, porosity, and mineral surface area changes in basalt cores induced by reactive transport of CO2-rich brine

Luhmann, A.J., B.M. Tutolo, B.C. Bagley, D.F.R. Mildner, W.E. Seyfried Jr., and M.O. Saar
Water Resources Research, 53, pp. 1-20, 2017. Download

Whole rock basalt alteration from CO2-rich brine during flow-through experiments at 150°C and 150 bar

Luhmann, A.J., B.M. Tutolo, C. Tan, B.M. Moskowitz, M.O. Saar, and W.E. Seyfried, Jr.
Chemical Geology, 453, pp. 92-110, 2017. Download

TNT-NN: A Fast Active Set Method for Solving Large Non-Negative Least Squares Problems

Myre, J.M., E. Frahm, D.J. Lilja, and M.O. Saar
Procedia Computer Science, 108C, pp. 755-764, 2017. Download

Calculating thermophysical fluid properties during geothermal energy production with NESS and Reaktoro

Walsh, S.D.C., N. Garapati, A.M.M. Leal, and M.O. Saar
Geothermics, 70, pp. 146-154, 2017. Download

Geothermal exploitation from hot dry rocks via recycling heat transmission fluid in a horizontal well

Cui, G., S. Ren, L. Zhang, J. Ezekiel, C. Enechukwu, Y. Wang, and R. Zhang
Energy, 128, pp. 366-377, 2017. Download

Open Positions

PhD position

At the Geothermal Energy and Geofluids Group at the Institute of Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences. Investigation on evolution of permeability and porosity due to mineral precipitation in natural and/or artificial granite fractures
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Lectures & Courses

Special Courses

SCCER School – Shaping the Energy Transition

17 – 20 October 2017

geophysicsThe SCCER School will present you the big picture of the energy transition and provide insights into how your research can shape it. Three days full of interdisciplinary presentations, debates, and excursions are awaiting you. Expand your network and gain fresh ideas! The SCCER School is open for PhD and postdoctoral students of the ETH domain and Swiss universities, as well as for scientific assistants of universities of applied sciences, who are working in the field of energy research.


Deadline: 5 September 2017


Lecture of Prof. Martin Saar: Thursday, 19 October 15:00

Regular Courses

Autumn Semester 2017

Geothermal Energy (MSc level)

P. Bayer, D. Karvounis, M.O. Saar, F. Samrock, 651-4109-00L
GEG-instructors involved: M.O. Saar, F. Samrock
Short description
The course will begin with an overview of heat generation and the thermal structure of the Earth. The basic theory describing the flow of heat in the shallow crust will be covered, as will be the methods used to measure it. Petrophysical parameters of relevance to Geothermics, such as thermal conductivity, heat capacity and radiogenic heat productivity, are described together with the laboratory and borehole measurement techniques used to estimate their values. The focus will then shift towards the exploitation of geothermal heat at various depths and temperatures, ranging from electricity and heat production in various types of deep geothermal systems (including high and medium temperature hydrothermal systems, and Engineered Geothermal Systems at depths of 5 km or more), to ground-source heat pumps installed in boreholes at depths of a few tens to hundreds of meters for heating domestic houses.
link to course catalogue

Groundwater (MSc level)

A. Ebigbo, X.Z. Kong, 651-4023-00L
GEG-instructors involved: A. Ebigbo, X.Z. Kong
Short description
The course provides an introduction into quantitative analysis of groundwater flow and solute transport. It is focussed on understanding, formulating, and solving groundwater flow and solute transport problems.
link to course catalogue

Geophysik I (BSc level)

D. Giardini, M.O. Saar, 651-3543-00L
GEG-instructors involved: M.O. Saar
Short description
General knowledge of seismology.
link to course catalogue

Introduction to Oceanography and Hydrogeology (BSc level)

D. Vance, M.O. Saar, 651-3507-00L
GEG-instructors involved: M.O. Saar
Short description
This course is designed to provide an introduction to hydrogeology and oceanography for all Earth Science students at ETH. It provides an overview of the physical controls on water flow in streams, aquifers, and the oceans. It also deals with the basics of groundwater chemistry, biogeochemical cycling in the oceans, the role of the oceans as carbon reservoirs and their dynamic redox state.
link to course catalogue

Spring Semester 2018

Geofluids (MSc level)

X.‑Z. Kong, A. Ebigbo, A. Moreira Mulin Leal, [no course number yet]
GEG-instructors involved: X.‑Z. Kong, A. Ebigbo, A. Moreira Mulin Leal
Short description
This course presents advanced topics of single and multiphase fluid flow, heat transfer, reactive transport, and geochemical reactions in the subsurface. Emphasis is on the understanding of the underlying governing equations of each physical and chemical process, and its relevance to applications, e.g., groundwater management, geothermal energy, CO2 storage, waste disposal, and oil/gas production.
[No link to course catalogue yet]

Case Studies in Exploration and Environmental Geophysics I

M.O. Saar, [no course number yet]
GEG-instructors involved: M.O. Saar
[No link to course catalogue yet]

Case Studies in Exploration and Environmental Geophysics II

M.O. Saar, [no course number yet]
GEG-instructors involved: M.O. Saar
[No link to course catalogue yet]