After a break filled with analyses and preparations, the BedrettoLab team is conducting a new series of stimulations in continuation of the VALTER project and in preparation of the FEAR project. The first stimulation is starting this week with relatively small volumes of water being injected during a few hours.
The main aim of these stimulations is to investigate stress preconditioning. More specifically, the behavior of individual fractures by increasing the fluid pressure will be tested. These investigations are an important prerequisite for the upcoming FEAR experiment. Later stimulations, to be conducted in March and April, will focus on the increase of transmissivity of the host rock which is essential for the generation of a geothermal reservoir.
As for all activities in the BedrettoLab, safety is the top priority, and this also applies to the upcoming stimulations. We have deployed several safety layers to ensure that the seismicity does not reach crictical levels. Since we closely monitor the stimulations with our exceptionally dense and highly sensitive measuring system, we can identify in near real-time changes within the rock volume of interest. This enables continuously updated hazard re-evaluations. If predefined safety thresholds in magnitude or vibration are reached, the injection is halted and bleed off initiated.