Journal cover Journal topic
Geothermal Energy Science An open-access journal
Journal topic
Volume 2, issue 1 | Copyright
Geoth. Energ. Sci., 2, 21-37, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  08 Sep 2014

08 Sep 2014

Empirical relations of rock properties of outcrop and core samples from the Northwest German Basin for geothermal drilling

D. Reyer*,1 and S. L. Philipp1 D. Reyer and S. L. Philipp
  • 1Georg August University of Göttingen, Geoscience Centre, Department of Structural Geology and Geodynamics, Germany
  • *now at: State Authority of Mining, Energy and Geology – Zentrum für TiefenGeothermie, Celle, Germany

Abstract. Information about geomechanical and physical rock properties, particularly uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), are needed for geomechanical model development and updating with logging-while-drilling methods to minimise costs and risks of the drilling process. The following parameters with importance at different stages of geothermal exploitation and drilling are presented for typical sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Northwest German Basin (NWGB): physical (P wave velocities, porosity, and bulk and grain density) and geomechanical parameters (UCS, static Young's modulus, destruction work and indirect tensile strength both perpendicular and parallel to bedding) for 35 rock samples from quarries and 14 core samples of sandstones and carbonate rocks.

With regression analyses (linear- and non-linear) empirical relations are developed to predict UCS values from all other parameters. Analyses focus on sedimentary rocks and were repeated separately for clastic rock samples or carbonate rock samples as well as for outcrop samples or core samples. Empirical relations have high statistical significance for Young's modulus, tensile strength and destruction work; for physical properties, there is a wider scatter of data and prediction of UCS is less precise. For most relations, properties of core samples plot within the scatter of outcrop samples and lie within the 90% prediction bands of developed regression functions. The results indicate the applicability of empirical relations that are based on outcrop data on questions related to drilling operations when the database contains a sufficient number of samples with varying rock properties. The presented equations may help to predict UCS values for sedimentary rocks at depth, and thus develop suitable geomechanical models for the adaptation of the drilling strategy on rock mechanical conditions in the NWGB.

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