58 research outputs found

    Unconventional energy resources in a crowded subsurface: reducing uncertainty and developing a separation zone concept for resource estimation and deep 3D subsurface planning using legacy mining data

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    Over significant areas of the UK and western Europe, anthropogenic alteration of the subsurface by mining of coal has occurred beneath highly populated areas which are now considering a multiplicity of ‘low carbon’ unconventional energy resources including shale gas and oil, coal bed methane, geothermal energy and energy storage. To enable decision making on the 3D planning, licensing and extraction of these resources requires reduced uncertainty around complex geology and hydrogeological and geomechanical processes. An exemplar from the Carboniferous of central Scotland, UK, illustrates how, in areas lacking hydrocarbon well production data and 3D seismic surveys, legacy coal mine plans and associated boreholes provide valuable data that can be used to reduce the uncertainty around geometry and faulting of subsurface energy resources. However, legacy coal mines also limit unconventional resource volumes since mines and associated shafts alter the stress and hydrogeochemical state of the subsurface, commonly forming pathways to the surface. To reduce the risk of subsurface connections between energy resources, an example of an adapted methodology is described for shale gas/oil resource estimation to include a vertical separation or ‘stand-off’ zone between the deepest mine workings, to ensure the hydraulic fracturing required for shale resource production would not intersect legacy coal mines. Whilst the size of such separation zones requires further work, developing the concept of 3D spatial separation and planning is key to utilising the crowded subsurface energy system, whilst mitigating against resource sterilisation and environmental impacts, and could play a role in positively informing public and policy debate

    Can uncertainty in geological cross-section interpretations be quantified and predicted?

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    This work was undertaken while C.H. Randle held a joint British Geological Survey University Funding Initiative (BUFI) and University of Aberdeen, College of Physical Sciences Ph.D. Studentship at Aberdeen University. The contributions by C.H. Randle, R.M. Lark, and A.A. Monaghan are published with the permission of the Executive Director of the British Geological Survey Natural Environment Research Council. We would also like to thank all those who took part in both experiments as well as the many people who have given input on our results.Peer reviewedPublisher PD

    Uncertainty in geological interpretations : Effectiveness of expert elicitations

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    We would like to thank all those who took part in our elicitations, as well as all those who helped in their facilitation. This work was undertaken while C.H. Randle held a joint University of Aberdeen, College of Physical Science Ph.D. Award and British Geological Survey University Funding Initiative (BUFI) Ph.D. Studentship at Aberdeen University, through Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The contributions by C.H. Randle, R.M. Lark, and A.A. Monaghan are published with the permission of the Executive Director of BGS (NERC). The authors would like to thank Hazel Gibson and an anonymous reviewer for their comments on the manuscript and confirm that all views expressed are the opinions of the authors.Peer reviewedPublisher PD

    Tests of Spurious Transport in Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

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    We have performed a series of systematic tests to evaluate the effects of spurious transport in three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) calculations. Our tests investigate (i) particle diffusion, (ii) shock heating, (iii) numerical viscosity, and (iv) angular momentum transport. The results are useful for quantifying the accuracy of the SPH scheme, especially for problems where shear flows or shocks are present, as well as for problems where true hydrodynamic mixing is relevant. We examine the different forms of artificial viscosity (AV) which have been proposed by Monaghan, by Hernquist & Katz, and by Balsara. For each form, our tests suggest a single set of values for the AV parameters α\alpha and β\beta (coefficients of the linear and quadratic terms) which are appropriate in a large number of situations. We also discuss how these parameters should be adjusted depending on the goals of the particular application. We find that both the Hernquist & Katz and Balsara forms introduce relatively small amounts of numerical viscosity. Furthermore, both Monaghan's and Balsara's AV do well at treating shocks and at limiting the amount of spurious mixing. For these reasons, we endorse the Balsara AV for use in a broad range of applications.Comment: 49 pages, 26 figures as 30 postscript files, submitted to The Journal of Computational Physic

    3D geological models and their hydrogeological applications : supporting urban development : a case study in Glasgow-Clyde, UK

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    Urban planners and developers in some parts of the United Kingdom can now access geodata in an easy-to-retrieve and understandable format. 3D attributed geological framework models and associated GIS outputs, developed by the British Geological Survey (BGS), provide a predictive tool for planning site investigations for some of the UK's largest regeneration projects in the Thames and Clyde River catchments. Using the 3D models, planners can get a 3D preview of properties of the subsurface using virtual cross-section and borehole tools in visualisation software, allowing critical decisions to be made before any expensive site investigation takes place, and potentially saving time and money. 3D models can integrate artificial and superficial deposits and bedrock geology, and can be used for recognition of major resources (such as water, thermal and sand and gravel), for example in buried valleys, groundwater modelling and assessing impacts of underground mining. A preliminary groundwater recharge and flow model for a pilot area in Glasgow has been developed using the 3D geological models as a framework. This paper focuses on the River Clyde and the Glasgow conurbation, and the BGS's Clyde Urban Super-Project (CUSP) in particular, which supports major regeneration projects in and around the City of Glasgow in the West of Scotland

    Shale prospectivity onshore Britain

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    The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) commissioned the British Geological Survey (BGS) to summarize the available geological knowledge, integrate new seismic mapping and well analysis, and make preliminary in-place resource assessments for the three most prospective areas onshore Britain to foster a greater understanding of the unconventional shale resource potential in advance of the 14th Landward Licensing Round. The first study, published in June 2013, reviewed the Carboniferous Bowland–Hodder shales across central Britain where a large volume of in-place gas was assessed to be present. The second study, of the Jurassic shale of the Weald Basin in southern England, published in May 2014, concluded that owing to insufficient burial there was no significant Jurassic shale gas potential, but there could still be shale oil resources at several levels in the centre of the basin. The third study, published in June 2014, covered the Midland Valley of Scotland where both oil and gas potential in Carboniferous shales was identified. A large volume of in-place gas and oil resource has been assessed to be present. However, not enough is known at the time of writing to estimate a recovery factor or to estimate potential producible reserves. This paper summarizes the results of the BGS reports and their impact on the subsequent licensing process in England

    Comment on ‘Repurposing Hydrocarbon Wells for Geothermal Use in the UK: The Onshore Fields with the Greatest Potential. Watson et al. (2020)’

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    Comment: We wish to comment on factual inaccuracies around the purpose of the UK Geoenergy Observatory in Glasgow (GGERFS) in the recent Energies paper by Watson et al [...

    Drilling into mines for heat: geological synthesis of the UK Geoenergy Observatory in Glasgow and implications for mine water heat resources

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    Thermal energy from groundwater in abandoned, flooded, coal mines has the potential to make a significant contribution to decarbonisation of heat and Net-Zero carbon emissions. In Glasgow, UK, a subsurface observatory has been constructed for mine water heat and heat storage research. We synthesise geological and mine water resource findings from a four-year period of borehole planning, drilling, logging and testing. The heterogenous bedrock is typical of the Scottish Coal Measures Group, whereas superficial deposits are more sand- and gravel-dominated than prognosed. Mine water boreholes encountered workings in the Glasgow Upper, Glasgow Ell and Glasgow Main coal seams, proving water-filled voids, mine waste, fractured rock mass and intact coal pillars with high yields on initial hydrogeological testing. Whilst the depth and extent of mine workings delineated on mine abandonment plans proved accurate, metre-scale variability was expected and proved in the boreholes. A mine water reservoir classification established from the observatory boreholes highlights the resource potential in areas of total extraction, stowage, and stoop and room workings. Since their spatial extent is more extensive across the UK than shafts or roadways, increasing the mine water energy evidence base and reducing exploration risk in these types of legacy workings is important

    Erratum to: Methods for evaluating medical tests and biomarkers

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    [This corrects the article DOI: 10.1186/s41512-016-0001-y.]
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