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Calo M.,University of Strasbourg | Dorbath C.,University of Strasbourg | Cornet F.H.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Cuenot N.,GEIE
Geophysical Journal International

In 2000, a large water injection (over 23000 m3) has been conducted in granite through a 5-km-deep borehole at Soultz-sous-Forêts, in the Upper Rhine Graben (northeastern France). The microseismicity induced by this hydraulic stimulation was monitored with a network of 14 seismic stations deployed at ground surface. Some 7215 well-located events have been used to conduct a 4-D tomography of P-wave velocities. The method combines a double-difference tomography method with an averaging post-processing that corrects for parameter dependence effects. The total set of 7 215 events has been divided into 14 subsets that explore periods defined with respect to the injection scheme. Particular attention is given to changes in injected flow rates, periods of stationary injection conditions and post-injection periods. Fast changes in VP velocities are identified in large rock mass volumes precisely when the injection flow rate varies while little velocity variation is detected during stationary injection periods. The VP anomalies observed during stationary injection conditions are interpreted as being caused by effective stress variations linked to fluid diffusion, while the fast changes observed concomitantly to changes in flow rate are considered to be caused by non-seismic motions. © 2011 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2011 RAS. Source

Background: The thermal regime of the Upper Rhine Graben (URG) is characterized by a series of anomalies near Soultz-sous-Forêts (France), Rittershoffen (France), and Landau (Germany). These temperature anomalies are associated with groundwater circulation in fractures and faults distributed in the Cenozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary cover associated with and connected to fractures originating deep within the Paleozoic basement. The present study helps to understand the convective cell structure in order to optimize geothermal borehole trajectories. Methods: The work concentrated on a detailed interpretation of the geophysical and geological logs from Soultz geothermal wells mainly from the topographic surface to the Triassic formations, at between 800- and 1,400-m depth above the deep granitic basement. Results: The analysis of drilling mud logging data and geophysical well logging data from the deep Soultz geothermal wells (GPK-2, GPK-3, GPK-4) reveals the occurrence of nine fracture zones situated at depths greater than 900 m in the limestones of the Muschelkalk (Middle Trias) and the sandstones of the Buntsandstein (Lower Trias). Based on indications of total or partial mud losses, these fracture zones have been classified as permeable or impermeable. Conclusions: Permeable fractures between circa 900-m depth and 1,400-m depth are connected to a large-scale fault and control the top of the convective cells. There is no indication of permeability in the formations above the Keuper layer, and the uppermost part of the sedimentary cover acts as a cap rock, insulating the convective regime in the Triassic sediments and the granitic basement. © 2015, Vidal et al.; licensee Springer. Source

Meixner J.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Schill E.,GEIE | Schill E.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Gaucher E.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Kohl T.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Geothermal Energy

Background: Knowledge of the ambient state of stress is of crucial importance for understanding tectonic processes and an important parameter in reservoir engineering. In the framework of the 2,500-m deep geothermal project of Bruchsal in the central part of the Upper Rhine Graben, new evidence is presented for the stress field in deep-seated sedimentary rocks. Methods: With a sophisticated data analysis based on the concept of critical stress ratios, we evaluate the quality and uncertainty range of earlier stress field models in the Bruchsal area. New data from borehole logging and leak- off tests in deep sediments are used to propose an alternative stress profile for this part of the Upper Rhine Graben. Results: The revised stress field model for the Bruchsal area predicts a normal with transition to strike-slip faulting regime. Stress field perturbations and potential decoupling process within specific clay-, salt-, and anhydrite-bearing units of the Keuper can be observed. Conclusion: By comparison with other models, we can show a regional consistency of our stress field model that is reliable throughout the central Upper Rhine Graben extending from Bruchsal in the East to the Soultz-sous-Forêts EGS site in the West. © 2014, Meixner et al. Source

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