Esteban Gómez Diaz

Research interests are in geochemistry, fluid-rock interaction, groundwater flow, hydrothermal transport and depositional processes, supercritical fluids, geothermal modelling, and geothermal exploration. Experience in planning and supervision of research campaigns, sampling and field analysis, numerical modeling and simulations.

  • MSc Sustainable Energy, Reykjavik University, Iceland (2018-2020)
  • BSc Geology, EAFIT University, Colombia (2012-2017)

Project Title: Geothermal reservoir characterization of deep limestones in the Rhine-Ruhr region
Host Institutions: RWTH Aachen, TU Delft, Fraunhofer IEG, RWE
Supervisory Team: Peter Kukla, Maren Brehme, Rolf Bracke, Jens Hannes
Start date: 1.3.2021

ESR Objectives:

Novel approaches in quantitative assessment of geological, geophysical and geomechanical properties for an integrated 3-D reservoir model workflow.

Our main focus will be on the evaluation of typical fracture networks in limestones as geothermal reservoir rocks through a 3-D geometric model of the distribution of Devonian and Carboniferous carbonates in the Rhine Ruhr Region (RRR).

Specifically, we attempt meter to centimetre-scale mapping of fracture networks and degree of diagenesis in selected outcrops using drone and Lidar imagery, and test the obtained reservoir characteristics in existing underground infrastructures of the Fraunhofer TRUDI laboratory and the Weisweiler test site, through collaboration with RWE.

Research Update

In the first months, the ESR 12 has focused on identifying areas with geothermal potential within the Rhine-Ruhr region. His research began in Aachen Area since it presents some hydrothermal manifestations and previous studies related to the topic. Later it spread to the north,  analyzing more areas in the Lower Rhine Graben. In the mentioned areas, the ESR is analyzing favorable structures where geothermal water could flow, such as fractures and permeable geological faults. Finally, the ESR-12 is working together with ESR-11 to carry out a Magnetotelluric campaign. It is a geophysical exploration method that allows identifying properties of conductivity of rocks at depths where usually geothermal reservoirs are found.

This past 30 of September, Andrea Balza (ESR 11) and Esteban Gomez (ESR 12) participated in a field excursion to learn how to acquire Magnetotelluric data. These geophysical data are used in geothermal exploration research to image conductive bodies or fluid flow zones in deep parts of the subsurface. The method consists in measuring natural geomagnetic and geoelectric field variation at the Earth’s surface. The goal of the test survey was to understand the noise levels given the amount of culture in the surrounding areas. The equipment and training were provided by Prof. Michael Becken from University of Münster and was done in Eifel National Park region. Prof. Becken is an expert in Magnetotellrics and leads this research in the German scientific community. During the 2-day excursion, the ESR’s gained experienced in installing the equipment and acquiring data overnight.  These efforts will provide a better assessment of future magnetotelluric surveys in the Rhine Ruhr area for potential geothermal development.

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