In-situ Stimulation & Circulation Experiment (ISC) - Introduction

The ISC Experiment is a geothermal research project initiated by the SCCER-SoE (Swiss Competence Centre for Energy Research – Supply of Electricity) and scientifically directed by the ETH Zurich.

The primary goal is to improve our understanding of geomechanical processes underpinning permeability creation during hydraulic stimulation and related induced seismicity as well as to evaluate the efficiency of the generated underground heat exchanger. The experimental site is located in the southern part of the GTS between the VE-Drift and the Main Access Tunnel. In this area, three shear-zones are present dipping south to south-east at steep angles.

The project tasks are grouped in three phases.

Pre-Stimulation Phase (2015/16)

  • Drilling and investigation of 15 boreholes
  • Hydraulic & geophysical characterisation 
  • Determination of the stress regime -> derive slip tendencies and fracture reactivation pressures
  • Installation of seismic monitoring network in galleries
  • Installation of monitoring systems for pore pressure, temperature, strain

Stimulation Phase (2017)

  • Hydraulic stimulation of existing shear-zones
  • Stimulation of newly hydraulic fractured rock 
  • Real-time monitoring of near-field effects: seismic emissions, displacement and changes in pressure and strain.

Post-Stimulation Phase (2017)

  • The aim of the post-stimulation phase is to investigate and document the changes in hydraulic and geophysical properties provoked by the previous stimulation activities.
  • Circulation phase: study of thermal effects on fracture flow, efficiency of newly created heat exchanger

 

ICS simulation phases

Links

SCCER SoE geo-energy  http://www.sccer-soe.ch/research/geo-energy

Task 1.3: Pilot and demonstration project for reservoir creation http://www.sccer-soe.ch/research/geo-energy/task1.3/

ISC Project description http://www.sccer-soe.ch/export/sites/default/.galleries/slider/SCCER-SoE_Agreement_NAGRA.pdf

ETH Globe Magazine article: The rock crackers http://www.sccer-soe.ch/export/sites/default/.content/pdf_home/ETH_Globe_Grimsel_EN.pdf

 

ISC Boreholes

Prefix

Primary purpose

Acitivities / Instrumentation

Number of
boreholes

GEO

Geophysical investigation borehole

  • Geophysical characterization using GPR and active seismics
  • Crosshole tomography
  • Hydraulic characterization using GPR monitoring of salt tracer tests

4

FBS

Strain monitoring

  • Fiber-optics  (FBG’s distributed)
  • temperature monitoring

3

INJ

Injection borehole

  • Injection (stimulation)
  • Hydraulic (multi-) packer tests
  • Tracer tests (dye, salt, DNA)

2

PRP

Pore pressure monitoring borehole

Multi-interval pore pressure and temperature monitoring in shear-zones near to the intersection points of INJ-boreholes

3

SBH

Stress measurement borehole

  • Over-coring stress measurements
  • HF and HTPF tests

3

All boreholes were cored, geophysically logged and hydraulically characterized using multi-packer systems.

ICS layout 001

Source: Micro-seismic monitoring during hydraulic-shearing experiments at the Grimsel Test Site
Villiger,L,   Gischig,V.,  Doetsch, J, Krietsch, H., Jalali, M., Amann, F., Evans, K., Valley, B., Wiemer, S. Schatzalp Workshop on Induced Seismicity, 2017.

ICS Geophone array

Geophone array and high precision tilt meter (foreground) in the VE-Tunnel to monitor seismic micro-events and ground movement during hydraulic stimulation in the ISC Injection Boreholes.

Images

ICS Seismic investigation of GEO boreholes

Seismic investigation of GEO-boreholes

ICS Hydraulic stimulation works

Hydraulic stimulation works

ICS Assembling multi packer system

Assembling multi-packer system for hydraulic characterisation of boreholes 

ICS Seismic sensor

Seismic sensor placed in recess of tunnel wall

The GTS underground facilities are also available to interested 3rd parties for underground testing and research. The GTS offers cost-effective access to a fully developed, well characterised underground research facility with round the year logistical support - please contact Dr. Ingo Blechschmidt, Head of the Grimsel Test Site, for further details.
You are here: Home GTS Phase VI ISC - In-situ Stimulation & Circulation Experiment