Interview at Institut Polytechnique UniLaSalle, Beauvais campus, France: Zachariah Fleming post-doctoral research fellow and Johanne Klee PhD student, members of the MEET project
Hello Zachariah, Johanne. Could you first say a couple of words about your educational background?
I have completed my undergraduate coursework in geology at the College of William and Mary and subsequently finished my PhD at the University of Texas at El Paso. My research interest span the field of structural geology, tectonics, with a focus on the southwestern United States, and remote sensing, particularly in the field of Structure from Motion-Multi-View Stereo Photogrammetry and its applications to field geology.
I hold a Master degree in Paleoenvironment, Sedimentology and Paleontology at the University Lyon 1 (affiliated to the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon, France) and a Master degree in environmental engineering at the Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre (Strasbourg, France), affiliated to the Ecole Nationale du Génie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement de Strasbourg, France.
Could you explain to us the final goals of your work?
The goal of our work is to create an analog model for the geothermal reservoir at Soultz-sous-Forets (Northern Alsace, Upper Rhine graben, France) which can be used to better understand the potential fluid flow and interactions occurring in the reservoir. Our analog site is the Noble Hills, located in southern Death Valley, California, USA.
We aim at predicting at European scale where to drill with minimum ecological impact and minimize costs, and improving the production of existing and future geothermal power plants.
Can you explain what your respective roles are?
My focus is on the collection of fracture data within the range. To do this I use a combination of field data collection along with data taken from 3D outcrop models. The collected fracture data is then used as the geometric framework for a DFN (Discrete Fracture Network) model, essentially a 2D or 3D representation of the fracture network, which can then simulate fluid flow within the network. This process can be done at multiple scales, 10’s of meters to km, which will ultimately provide insight into the behavior of fracture network below Soultz-sous-Forets.
My PhD thesis deals with a multidisciplinary study of geothermal reservoirs with a special focus on the investigation of fractured granitic reservoir analogues. My part of the job is to sample rocks on the field and to do some lab investigations. I need to analyse the composition and the characteristics of both rock and geothermal fluid, in order to understand the interaction between them. I use a wide range of analytical techniques (microscope analysis, clay minerals analysis, rock dating) and always compare the field results with those obtained at the Soultz sous Forêts power plant.
At the end my results will be integrated in DFN models to simulate a fluid circulation in granitic reservoir by taking in account the fluid reaction with the surrounding rock.
Thank you for your time.
More interviews are coming to highlight the work of our colleagues, PhD students or post-doctoral researchers that are involved in the MEET project. Education is of major important within the MEET team.