Structural and heat flow modelling of the Hallett area
Andrew Alesci (Honours 2008)
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.