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WP 3.4

Direct and indirect effects of the installation and operation of shallow subsurface geothermal heat storage systems and their monitoring; changes of flow and transport regimes, Threats on groundwater through leakage and interaction with subsurface contaminations


Based on the geological type scenarios for shallow aquifers developed in WP 1.2 the influence of heat storage on groundwater flow and transport is analyzed by virtual scenario simulations. For this purpose different scenarios of geothermal aquifer utilization are defined and described in numerical models with realistic geometries and parameterizations. The evaluation comprises aspects of parameter alteration through lokal temperature  differences, changes oft he flow regime due to increased or decreased temperatures, induction of enhanced geochemical reactivity due to temperature increases and alteration of the geomechanical behaviourof soils due to strong temperature contrasts. Furthermore, scenarios on the interaction of groundwater contamination and geothermal utilization of the shallow underground are studied, as temperature changes may lead to increased mobilization and emission of contaminants from contaminant source zones, which influences the development of groundwater contaminant plumes. Additionally, simulations for a quantification of changes in microbial activity due to increased or temporally varying temperature are performed, where growth dynamics of microorganisms and their spatio-temporal distribution is analyzed.

The working groups Geohydromodelling (CAU) and Applied Geology (CAU) are jointly working on WP 3.4. The performance of the scenario simulations requires the extension oft he THMC code OpenGeosys for the influences of temperature on the various mentioned processes, which will be provided by WP 2.4. The experimental work of WP 1.6, WP 1.8 and WP 1.9 provides the basis for the parameterisation of the scenario simulations. Results from the scenario simulations serve as input for the guidelines on shallow subsurface heat storage which is developed in WP 4.4.