31 May 2021 to 3 June 2021
Europe/Dublin timezone

Keynote Speakers

All live lectures will be recorded and available for viewing the day after each session and after the conference so that you don’t miss a moment – no matter where you are.  


 

Thomas Driesner
ETH Zürich

Title:

Numerical simulation aiding the development of superhot geothermal resources

Abstract:

There is mounting evidence that many conventional high-enthalpy geothermal resources that are exploited for power generation in volcanic areas are underlain by so-called superhot resources. Superhot resources are loosely defined as having a temperature higher than the critical temperature of water (374°C) and enthalpies ideally high enough to not intersect the two-phase region upon production, i.e., can be produced to generate dry, superheated steam. Two wells of the Iceland Deep Drilling project indeed tapped such resources: 450°C at 150 bar in well IDDP-1 at Krafla; and potentially up to >500°C in well IDDP-2 at Reykjanes. Although both cases encountered technical problems that prevented production from the wells, the potential of superhot resources is enormous with possibly up to 10 times more power per well. In order to better understand the geologic controls on and the nature of the resources, numerical simulations turned out to be the tool of choice. A key factor is the effect of the brittle to ductile transition temperature on rock permeability as it controls the maximum temperature of exploitable fluid. In the case of saline fluids, complex phase relations impose that economically attractive reservoirs are more likely to occur above deeper (5 vs. 2-3 km) magmatic intrusions. Furthermore, the salinity of the fluid may determine if and how a well can be started to become self-flowing. The presentation will illustrate key examples to highlight important factors as well as the requirements for meaningful numerical simulations.  

Bio:

Thomas Driesner is an adjunct professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich. Originally a classically trained geologist he got side-tracked into hydrothermal fluid thermodynamics and molecular simulation during his PhD and postdoc times at ETH, University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. While still being interested in geologic field studies of ore deposits and geothermal systems when returning to ETH, his research focus in the last ca. 15 years has been on fluid thermodynamics as well as the simulation of natural fluid flow under extreme temperature-pressure conditions. The latter sparked several first-of-their-kind studies on mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems, ore-forming magmatic-hydrothermal systems, and supercritical geothermal resources.


 

  Lynn Gladden 
University of Cambridge
 

 

Steven Jansen
Ulm University

Title: 

How do plants transport water under negative pressure?

Abstract: 

A longstanding question in biology is how plants are able to transport water under negative pressure without continuously developing large gas bubbles in their transport system, which would reduce sap transport from roots to leaves. This process, which is known to be driven by transpiration at the leaf level, is highly puzzling because the water transported is saturated with gas and includes insoluble, amphiphilic lipids with a potent surface activity. Yet, plants seem to be able to perform this process seemingly effortlessly on a daily basis. 

In this talk, we will discuss the importance of mesoporous cell walls between neighbouring conduits, and their functional significance as safety valves. The 200 to 1,000 nm thick porous cell walls, which have an estimated porosity of 80%, and ca. 20 nm wide pore constrictions, are shown to produce surfactant coated nanobubbles by the local surface tension of lipids at gas-liquid interfaces. In an interdisciplinary approach, an overview of experimental evidence will be presented, together with porous cell wall models, and simulations of multiphase interactions between gas, surfactants, water, and solid substances. These efforts contribute not only to our understanding of the mechanisms of plant water transport, but will also enable us to develop evaporation-driven transport devices that do not rely on fossil fuels. Moreover, understanding hydraulic failure in plants has implications for global water conservation, and how plants will deal with increased levels of drought at many places worldwide.

Bio:

Steven Jansen is a professor of plant sciences at Ulm University, Germany. His research focuses on functional plant morphology, especially with respect to plant water relations. He received his PhD from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), and worked as plant anatomist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK). He took up a Junior Professorship at Ulm University in 2009, where he became full professor in 2014. Over the last 10 years, he coordinated an international team working on functional traits related to plant water transport, with special attention to drought-induced hydraulic failure and large-scale tree mortality. His work combines field work, lab experiments, microscopy, and modelling. He was listed as Highly Cited Researcher in 2018 and 2019. 


 

Thomas Ramstad
​​​​​​Equinor ASA

Title: 

A digital workflow for analysis of flow in porous media: Multiphase transport phenomena from pore to field scale for reservoir engineering applications.

Abstract: 

 

Bio:

Dr. Thomas Ramstad is a principal researcher and project manager in reservoir technology at Equinor ASA. He has broad experience from various parts of sub surface technology and flow in porous media on different scales.
 
A main part of the research is to develop and apply digital workflows to investigate flow mechanisms in porous rocks by combining flooding experiments, advanced X-ray tomography imaging, digital rock physics. Such results are crucial input for upscaling of multiphase flow in sub-surface reservoirs.
 
Dr. Ramstad has large experience in use of different types of software and digital analysis tools, many of which require high-performance computing. He has supervised several external research projects and has a strong interest in joining efforts from academia and industry. He has been active the in open porous media (OPM) project for open source software development. He is currently the Equinor contact person towards InterPore and sits in the InterPore Industry Committee. 
 
Dr Ramstad holds a PhD in physics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and joined Equinor (former Statoil) in 2013.