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Left: The Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant in ÃŽingvellir, Iceland (Foto: Gretar Ãvarsson, 2006; via wikimedia)
Right: Well-log based prediction of rock thermal conductivity (Fuchs & Förster, 2013)

Research interests


My research interests focus on the Earth's temperature and heat-flow field at lithosphere scale. That includes an detailed understanding of the terrestrial heat flow and the associated rock thermal properties, such as thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat capacity as well as the radiogenic heat generation in the crust. This knowledge is important for any scientific or commercial use of the subsurface, both for the exploration of resources (geothermal energy, water, hydrocarbons, mineral resources, etc.) as well as for the storage of solids and energy (air, fluid, gas, nuclear waste, etc.). To realize such projects, I combine geological data from boreholes with geophysical surveys from boreholes (well-log interpretation) and surface (seismic data) as well as with data from laboratory studies of rock physics and chemistry. C ore-log integration helps to integrate from core to borehole scale. Such acquired data are implemented in numerical subsurface models that help to get a better understanding of the studied geological system. Further research interests are focusing on hydraulic properties in sedimentary rocks, in particular in granular soils and shallow hydrogeological systems.

Past research projects included:

  • Exploration for the development of Geothermal Systems in sedimentary rocks
  • Laboratory measurement of rock thermal properties using different methods (e.g. optical scanning, needle probe, divided bar)
  • Laboratory measurement of rock hydraulic properties
  • Formation evaluation using geophysical well logging (core-log integration)
  • Thermal properties of lower crustal rocks
  • Heat-flow and temperatures in Central and Northern Europe
  • Local to regional-scale numerical temperature modelling