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Geothermal systems in the Chalk of the south east of England: methods of predicting thermal transport in a fractured aquifer

Law, Ryan (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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There has recently been a steady increase in the number of licenses granted for the abstraction of water from the Chalk aquifer beneath London to supply "open loop" geothermal systems (Environment Agency, 2007). However, there has been little research conducted on how the water re-injected by these systems, which often differs in temperature by as much as 10°C, will interact with the fractured Chalk aquifer in both the short and long term. An analytical solution developed by Bodvarsson (1989) was used to show that, for most configurations of a geothermal system, thermal transport would be governed by fractures. It was then proved that the United States Geological Survey SUTRA code could be used to construct a more detailed model of the aquifer. A thermal test was devised to collect hydrogeological and thermal data. This test, along with conventional site investigation techniques, was used at a site in central London. A detailed numerical model of the geothermal system and the aquifer was then constructed in SUTRA. The results showed that the fracture zones found during testing would affect the system performance. Building on these results a procedure was developed for designers, to ensure such systems function in an appropriate way.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Mackay, Rae and Tellam, J. H. (John H.)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information:

An article based on this research is available at /

Subjects:QE Geology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:981
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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