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Open Access Assessment of the geothermal potential of fault zones in Germany by numerical modelling

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Deep rooting fault zones serve as prime targets for geothermal drilling especially when elevated heat and fluid transport is expected along these structures. This paper presents sensitivity studies through numerical modelling for the geo- thermal potential of deep rooting fault zones to estimate the electric power production for a lifetime of 50 years with the condition that fluid temperatures are equal to or greater than 100 °C. A cube with 1 km side length serves as unified numerical model including a 20 or 50 m broad, 1000 m high and 1000 m long fault zone. The numerical models were calculated with a variety of fluid and rock property parameters for four representative regions in Germany and depth ranges of 3000–4000 m, 4000–5000 m, 5000–6000 m and 6000–7000 m to cover different geological conditions. A representative result of the geothermal potential utilizable for electricity production from deep rooting fault zones in Germany is about 7.7 · 10 20 J or 7.78 · 10 20 J for 20 or 50 m broad fault zones.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

This article was made available online on June 25, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Assessment of the geothermal potential of fault zones in Germany by numerical modelling".

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  • Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften (ZDGG) is an international peer reviewed journal that accepts papers on research and applied topics in the Earth Sciences. It is published online and in print. One volume, consisting of four issues is published annually. The journal has been published by the German Geological Society since its foundation in 1848. It was relaunched in 2005.

    ZDGG invites the submission of English, German and French language papers from all fields of geology, hydrogeology, paleontology, tectonics, sedimentology, engineering geology and of course environmental geology to name a few. The editors of ZDGG also invite suggestions for thematic issues.

    Please note that ZDGG issues from Volume 170 are now available from the publisher's website at
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