The LEMR at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) invites applicants for the following PhD position:
The objective of the PhD thesis is to provide better understanding of the various couplings between hydraulic and mechanical interactions in enhanced geothermal systems.
In particular, this project will 1) provides detailed study of how friction properties control the transport properties of reactivated fractures for low porosity rocks 2) explore the processes involved in strain weakening and shear localization during earthquake nucleation. Previous experiments were conducted far from in-situ reservoir conditions, mostly at room temperature and low confining pressure. Here, we will experimentally study the evolution of both the fluid transport properties and seismic properties during deformation at pressure up to 200 MPa and temperature up to 300°C. These data will provide new constraints on the permeability evolution during the creation of geothermal reservoirs. Importantly, our results will shed new light on the physics of induced earthquake mechanisms by combining deformation experiments with the registration of the micro seismicity at high temperature and confining pressure, simulating geological conditions in the reservoirs.
This PhD thesis is part of the project Hydro-Mechanical Couplings in Enhanced Geothermal Reservoir – Earthquake nucleation. The project is funded by the Swiss National Fund and it is in collaboration with Dr Schubnel at ENS Paris (France).