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Professor David Giles, Director Centre for Mineral Exploration Under Cover

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
G09, Mawson Laboratories
North Terrace Campus
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
SA 5005 AUSTRALIA

Telephone: +61 8 8303 7361
Facsimile: +61 8 8303 4347
Email

Structural and heat flow modelling of the Hallett area

Research Theme

Geophysical Exploration

Project Researchers

Doctor Guilaume Backé

Professor David Giles

Andrew Alesci (Honours 2008)

Industry Partners

Torrens Energy

Project Details

The development of geothermal energy in South Australia would benefit from a better understanding of the effect of fracture on the heat flow in sedimentary rocks. Generally, high heat producing rocks buried under a thick non-fractured sediment layer acting as an isolative blanket produce enough heat gradient to potentially generate energy.

Different parameters have to be taken into account in order to assess the potential of a geothermal reservoir, amongst which the struture of the sediment layer play a major role. For instance, it is accepted that folded and vertically fractured strata are generally not a potentially good geothermal reservoir.

The Geothermal Exploration License near Hallett, in South Australia, is located in a gently folded area of Neoproterozoic rocks. The aim of this project is to produce a geological model of this tenement, building cross-sections and studying the fracture network. A program of heat conductivity measurement in different sedimentary units presenting fractures sets will enable the testing of the impact of both the nature of the sediments and the structure of the cover on the heat fow model.

This project will be held in conjunction with Torrens Energy, owner of the lease and who will provide the core to be measured, and Hot Dry Rock for the heat flow modelling.