Research Focus

The research of the Geothermal Technologies Group addresses subsurface challenges in deep geothermal drilling, exploration and production and underlying fundamental research questions:

  • Wellbore stability: How can we drill safe and economic deep geothermal wells?
  • How can we predict and estimate temperatures and transmissivities in deep geothermal reservoirs?
  • What is the mechanical integrity of the subsurface and in particular fault zones during geothermal production?
  • How can we predict pore pressure and stresses in different geological settings?
  • What is the interplay between pore pressure, stress, deformation, fluid flow and temperature variations in a geothermal system?

To adress these challenges, we combine different disciplines (geomechanics, structural geology and petrophysics) and integrate a variety of methods (field work, laboratory measurements, modelling and numerical simulation) and data sources (geology, drilling and geophysics). While our focus is on deep geothermal energy, our approach is also applicable to other geoenergy applications, such as aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES), seasonal storage of hydrogen and natural/synthetic gas, CO2 sequestration and nuclear waste storage.

Accordingly, our research is structured in linked (geo)scientific branches. These mainly address subsurface characterization, in particular geomechanics and basin analysis, structural geology as well as the interplay of thermal, hydraulic and mechanical (THM) processes in the subsurface. In addition, TUM.GTT is involved in assessing the techno-socio-economical aspects of deep geothermal energy and in fostering knowledge transfer from academia to industry and vice versa.