The EGS Collab -Experiment 2 Stimulations at 1.25 km Depth

The EGS Collab Team

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The EGS Collab project is performing well-monitored rock stimulation and flow tests at the 10-m scale in an underground research laboratory to inform challenges in implementing enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). This project, supported by the US Department of Energy, is gathering data and observations from the field tests and comparing these to simulation results to understand processes and to build confidence in numerical modeling of the processes. Experiment 1 (now complete) examined hydraulic fracturing in an underground test bed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, at a depth of approximately 1.5 km in a well-characterized phyllite. Geophysical monitoring instrumentation in six of eight sub-horizontal boreholes monitored stimulation events and flow tests. The other two boreholes were used to perform and carefully measure water injection and production. More than a dozen stimulations and nearly one year of flow tests in the testbed were performed. Detailed observations of processes occurring during stimulation and dynamic flow tests were collected and analyzed. Flow tests using ambient-temperature and chilled water were performed with intermittent tracer tests to examine system behavior. We achieved adaptive control of the tests using close monitoring of rapidly disseminated data and near-real-time simulation. Numerical simulation was critical in answering key experimental design questions, forecasting fracture behavior, and analyzing results. We were successful in performing many simulations in near-real-time in conjunction with the field experiments, with more detailed simulations performed later. The primary objective of Experiment 2 is to examine hydraulic shearing of natural fractures at a depth of 1.25 km in amphibolite at SURF. The stresses, rock type, and fracture conditions are different than in Experiment 1. The testbed consists of 9 boreholes, in addition to two earlier-drilled characterization boreholes. One borehole is used for injection, two fans of 2 monitoring wells have several geophysical measurement tools grouted in, and four open boreholes surrounding the injection hole are adaptively used for production and monitoring. We have encountered approximately five fracture set orientations in the testbed, and designed our testbed accordingly to maximize the potential for shear stimulation. Three stimulations have been performed to date from the injection borehole, each intersecting at least one production borehole. Different methods have been used for each stimulation, including a ramped flow, a high flow rate, and oscillating pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUsing the Earth to Save the Earth - 2022 Geothermal Rising Conference
PublisherGeothermal Resources Council
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781713871040
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 Geothermal Rising Conference: Using the Earth to Save the Earth, GRC 2022 - Reno, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2022Aug 31 2022

Publication series

NameTransactions - Geothermal Resources Council
ISSN (Print)0193-5933


Conference2022 Geothermal Rising Conference: Using the Earth to Save the Earth, GRC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geophysics

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