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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Photo of Mr Ben Adams

Mr Ben Adams



PhD Project: Estimation of geothermal resource in place within a deep fault system

I am undertaking this research, supervised by Professor Hylke Glass and Dr Robin Shail, in to the Estimation of geothermal resource in place within a deep fault system based around the Eden deep geothermal project ran by Eden Geotherml Ltd.

Having previously studied Geology and Petroleum Geology at the University of Aberdeen and then Mining Geology at MSc here at the Camborne School of Mines. For my masters thesis I worked on wolframite variation and distribution within the Hemerdon tungsten-tin deposit in Devon which is currently owned and operated by Tungsten West.

Throughout 2021 I have been working on site as the first well was drilled and completed to a final measured depth of 4277m (4871m true vertical depth), and have been hands-on, working alongside the GeoScience geology team and the rest of the team from EGL.

The purpose of my research is to help quantifying the geothermal resource in place as it is a critical aspect in the design of an engineered geothermal system. This research is developing new theoretical models designed to predict the geothermal resource in place, and is testing these with reference to data obtained during drilling within the deep fault system in the southern St Austell Granite at the Eden Project.

My project seeks to develop two alternative approaches which, while created for and validated on the Eden Project site, are equally suitable for application at other locations.  

  • The first approach characterises the deep underground heat correlation structure with multiple point statistics, as opposed to conventional two-point correlation measures. Compared with classic geostatistical techniques, this approach requires less measured data and more input from structural geological modelling of the deep underground.  

  • The second approach also uses insight of the geological structure of the underground to configure heat zones and the cycling of heat between these zones. This approach explores heat transfer using techniques developed for chemical engineering reactor systems. 

As measured data becomes available during the drilling programme, the suitability of the geostatistical and chemical engineering approaches is investigated, with emphasis on understanding the role of deep faults at the Eden Project site. The findings are being used to propose a generic approach to modelling the geothermal resource in place for future deep fault geothermal systems in the UK and overseas. 

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