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Parsimonious numerical modelling of deep geothermal reservoirs

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul Younger, Dr Geoffrey ParkinORCiD


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Numerical modelling has been undertaken to help improve understanding of a deep geothermal system being considered for development in the vicinity of Eastgate (Weardale, County Durham, UK). A parsimonious numerical modelling approach is used, which allows the possibility to develop a workable formal framework, rigorously testing evolving concepts against data as they become available. The approach used and results presented in this study are valuable as a contribution to a wider understanding of deep geothermal systems. This modelling approach is novel in that it utilises the mass transport code MT3DMS as a surrogate representation for heat transport in mid-enthalpy geothermal systems. A three-dimensional heat transport model was built, based on a relatively simple conceptual model. Results of simulation runs of a geothermal production scenario have positive implications for a working geothermal system at Eastgate. The Eastgate Geothermal Field has significant exploitation potential for combined heat and power purposes; it is anticipated that this site could support several tens of megawatts of heat production for direct use and many megawatts of electrical power using a binary power plant.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fairs TH, Younger PL, Parkin G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy

Year: 2015

Volume: 168

Issue: 4

Pages: 218-228

Print publication date: 01/11/2015

Online publication date: 09/07/2015

Acceptance date: 09/04/2015

ISSN (print): 1751-4223

ISSN (electronic): 1751-4231



DOI: 10.1680/jener.14.00026


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Funder referenceFunder name
Eastgate fieldwork from One NorthEast
Geothermal Challenge Fund of the UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change
NE/I018905/2Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)