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Transport mechanisms of hydrothermal convection in faulted sandstone reservoir —– Implications for kilometer-scale thermal anomalies in Piesberg quarry

A transient 3D model obtained from the Piesberg quarry as an illustrative example is based on idealized structural models that characterize all geological features during Late Jurassic rifting (162 Ma) to infer possible transport mechanisms of fluids leading to the formation of kilometer-scale thermal anomaly. Three-dimensional numerical simulations on hydrothermal convection systems in the faulted sedimentary basins are investigated with the aim to assess the lateral heating capacity of hydrothermal convection systems in faults, using realistic rock properties (widths, inclinations, anisotropic permeabilities, etc.), fault dimensions, and fault intersections patterns and using variable parameter suites to assess the effect of lateral heating derived from hydrothermal convection systems. Three kinds of transport mechanisms of hydrothermal convection have been inferred and the effects of geological conditions on the transport mechanisms of hydrothermal convection in faulted sandstone reservoirs have been discovered. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that the local thermal anomalies are presumably provoked by circulating hydrothermal fluids along the fault damage zone of a large NNW-SSE striking fault, laterally heating up the entire exposed sandstone reservoir. Results suggest that this thermal event was reached prior to peak subsidence during Late Jurassic rifting (162 Ma). Owing to the idealized nature of the presented models, the numerical results and the associated analytical solution can be applied to petroleum and geothermal system models to avoid overestimating burial depth and reservoir quality, etc.


Guoqiang Yan, Robert Egert, Maziar Gholami Korzani, Thomas Kohl
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
GeoKarlsruhe 2021