Towards frontier simulations of coupled processes in terrestrial geosystems: a joint UFZ-GFZ effort

Workflow concept for geosystems simulations on multiple scales.

The analysis of terrestrial geosystems spans over various scales – depending on the specific research questions to be answered, e.g. from large basin scales for stress state analysis (I), river basins for water cycle investigation (III), or down to reservoirs scales for specific geotechnical applications such as subsurface energy storage, utilization of geothermal resources or the geological waste deposition (V) (see Figure). Common to all scales is the complexity of processes interactions in naturally or anthropogenic disturbed geosystems - so-called THMC (thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical) coupled processes (see Figure, up-right). The approach to tackle various geoscientific challenges, e.g. understanding global deformation modes and the evolution of geological basins or safe and sustainable utilization of georeservoirs - is to develop generic workflows able to combine data integration, model generation, and process simulation to comprehensive data analytics. Those workflows have been successfully developed and applied to geothermal reservoir analysis (shallow and deep systems). For the huge computational expense, moreover, high-performance-computation (HPC) algorithms have been implemented and the ESM partition (JURECA, JUWELS) is widely used for numerical analysis of complex geosystems. The efficiency of HPC schemes is tested against benchmarks and, moreover, container-based HPC enabled simulations will be used in near future on various HPC architectures. Successful examples for workflow (including HPC) applications have been demonstrated for various geotechnical uses in the North German Basin, e.g. the enhanced geothermal system Groß Schönebeck, the geological CO2 research site Ketzin, enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark, energy storage in salt caverns in Schleswig-Holstein. Other prominent deep geothermal case studies in different geological set-ups are the Bavarian Molasse and the Upper Rhein Valley (Soultz-sous-Forêts). The workflow concept was also applied to optimization of ground-source-heat-pump-systems for sustainable use of shallow geothermal resources (cases studies in Cologne and Taucha).