The role of numerical simulation in the design of stimulation and circulation experiments for the EGS Collab project

Mark White, Pengcheng Fu, Hai Huang, Ahmad Ghassemi, T. Kneafsey, D. Blankenship, J. Ajo-Franklin, S. J. Bauer, T. Baumgartner, A. Bonneville, L. Boyd, S. T. Brown, J. A. Burghardt, S. A. Carroll, T. Chen, C. Condon, P. J. Cook, P. F. Dobson, T. Doe, C. A. DoughtyD. Elsworth, L. P. Frash, Z. Frone, P. Fu, A. Ghassemi, H. Gudmundsdottir, Y. Guglielmi, G. Guthrie, B. Haimson, J. Heise, C. G. Herrick, M. Horn, R. N. Horne, M. Hu, H. Huang, L. Huang, T. C. Johnson, B. Johnston, S. Karra, K. Kim, D. K. King, H. Knox, D. Kumar, M. Lee, K. Li, M. Maceira, N. Makedonska, C. Marone, E. Mattson, M. W. McClure, J. McLennan, T. McLing, R. J. Mellors, E. Metcalfe, J. Miskimins, J. P. Morris, S. Nakagawa, G. Neupane, G. Newman, A. Nieto, C. M. Oldenburg, R. Pawar, P. Petrov, B. Pietzyk, R. Podgorney, Y. Polsky, S. Porse, B. Roggenthen, J. Rutqvist, H. Santos-Villalobos, P. Schwering, V. Sesetty, A. Singh, M. M. Smith, N. Snyder, H. Sone, E. L. Sonnenthal, N. Spycher, C. E. Strickland, J. Su, A. Suzuki, C. Ulrich, N. Uzunlar, C. A. Valladao, W. Vandermeer, D. Vardiman, V. R. Vermeul, J. L. Wagoner, H. F. Wang, J. Weers, J. White, M. D. White, P. Winterfeld, Y. S. Wu, Y. Wu, Y. Zhang, Y. Q. Zhang, J. Zhou, Q. Zhou, M. D. Zoback

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

8 Scopus citations


The United States Department of Energy, Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) is funding a collaborative investigation of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) processes at the meso-scale. This study, referred to as the EGS Collab project, is a unique opportunity for scientists and engineers to investigate the creation of fracture networks and circulation of fluids across those networks under in-situ stress conditions. The EGS Collab project is envisioned to comprise three experiments and the site for the first experiment is on the 4850 Level in phyllite of the Precambrian Poorman formation, at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, located at the former Homestake Gold Mine, in Lead, South Dakota. Principal objectives of the project are to develop a number of intermediate-scale field sites and to conduct well-controlled in situ experiments focused on rock fracture behavior and permeability enhancement. Data generated during these experiments will be compared against predictions of a suite of computer codes specifically designed to solve problems involving coupled thermal, hydrological, geomechanical, and geochemical processes. Comparisons between experimental and numerical simulation results will provide code developers with direction for improvements and verification of process models, build confidence in the suite of available numerical tools, and ultimately identify critical future development needs for the geothermal modeling community. Moreover, conducting thorough comparisons of models, modelling approaches, measurement approaches and measured data, via the EGS Collab project, will serve to identify techniques that are most likely to succeed at the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), the GTO's flagship EGS research effort. As noted, outcomes from the EGS Collab project experiments will serve as benchmarks for computer code verification, but numerical simulation additional plays an essential role in designing these meso-scale experiments. This paper describes specific calculations and numerical simulation approaches conducted in support of the designs for the stimulation and circulation experiments, and their monitoring, including those for predicting seismic energies during stimulation, stimulation pressure requirements, impacts of borehole orientation on fracture development and trajectories, influence of notch shapes on hydraulic fracture initiation, and pressure limits on fluid circulation to avoid fracture growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeothermal Energy
Subtitle of host publicationPower To Do More - Geothermal Resources Council 2017 Annual Meeting, GRC 2017
PublisherGeothermal Resources Council
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)0934412227
StatePublished - 2017
EventGeothermal Resources Council 41st Annual Meeting - Geothermal Energy: Power To Do More, GRC 2017 - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Oct 1 2017Oct 4 2017

Publication series

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


OtherGeothermal Resources Council 41st Annual Meeting - Geothermal Energy: Power To Do More, GRC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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