Coupled Process Models as a Tool for Analysing Hydrothermal Systems

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Abstract

Hydrothermal systems are characterised by complex interactions between heat transfer, fluid flow, deformation, species transport and chemical reactions. Numerical models can provide quantitatively constrained information in regions where acquisition of new data is difficult or expensive thus providing a means for reducing risks, costs, and effort during targeting, production, and management of resources linked to hydrothermal systems. Here we show how numerical simulations of hydrothermal processes can be used to better understand coupled reactive transport in modern geothermal systems and in ancient hydrothermal ore deposits. We give examples based on the Enhanced Geothermal System at Soultz-sous-Forêts in France, hydrothermal mineralisation at Mount Isa in Australia, and the geothermal resource at Hamburg-Allermöhe in Germany.

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