Deep Roots of Geothermal Systems


The science community, energy companies and Orkustofnun have agreed to devote about ISK 100 million to research on the interaction of water and magma in volcanic roots.  To learn how this interaction occurs and how heat is transferred from the magma into the geothermal systems is key to acquiring a deeper understanding of the rational utilization of geothermal energy.

The cooperative project, titled "DEEP ROOTS OF GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS" (DRG), is managed within the cluster cooperation of GEORG and is financially supported by GEORG, Orkustofnun, Reykjavik Energy, HS Orka, Landsvirkjun and the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP).

The aim of the project is to understand the relationship of water and magma in the roots of volcanoes and how heat is transferred into geothermal systems to maintain their energy. Furthermore, the design of wells and well heads for high temperatures will be a focus of the project, as will methods for utilizing superheated steam from greater depths.

The research work is devided in six tasks or sub-projects, each lead by a Prisipal Investigator and includes participants from universities, research institutes, engineering companies and energy companies.  The latest technology will be applied in surveying, resistance measurements and seismic measurements, petrology and geochemistry. In addition, new simulation models will be developed.  These models will be used to simulate heat transfer and operation of geothermal boreholes for high temperature steam.  Training young scientists to work in this field will be an area of heavy focus for this project.

One of the key aspects of the DRG project is to foster and encourage cooperation with other international project in the same field such as the Swiss/IPGT-COTHERM project and EU-IMAGE project.  As a starting point of that work GEORG organized a workshop on September 10th 2013, with the aim of introducing the DRG, COTHERM and IMAGE projects and stimulate discussions on synergy and cooperation between these projects. The first half of the workshop was devoted to introductions on the respective projects while two hours at the end of the workshop were devoted to a group discussion (see presentations and discussion points below)


An open workshop on processes in high-enthalpy geothermal systems 

An open workshop on processes in high-enthalpy geothermal systems 
Synergy and cooperation in the DRG, COTHERM and IMAGE projects
10. September, 2013

The objective of the  workshop was to introduce the DRG, COTHERM and IMAGE projects, as well as stimulate discussion on synergy and cooperation between these projects.

The presentations from the workshop can be downloaded below.

International Research on Geothermal Energy
      Hjalti Páll Ingólfsson
<Download presentation on pdf>

Deep Roots of Geothermal systems (DRG) 
      Hjalti Franzson ISOR
<Download presentation on pdf>

      Knútur Árnason ISOR
<Download presentation on pdf>
      Karolina Michalczewska, University of Iceland 
<Download presentation on pdf>
      Gunnar Gunnarsson, Reykjavik Energy          
<Download presentation on pdf>

The COTHERM project  
     Thomas Driesner, ETHZ,
<Download presentation on pdf>
                        <Simulation video>

The IMAGE project
     Gylfi Páll Hersir, ISOR
<Download presentation on pdf>

Utilization of high-enthalpy geothermal  resource
Guðrún A Sævarsdóttir, Reykjavik University  
<Download presentation on pdf>

 Seinar series on
Deep Roots of Geothermal Systems
Askja, Natural Science Building, University of Iceland, Sturlugata 7, Room 132
16. February, 1. March, 15. March, 29. March.

The Deep Root expert Group of GEORG has organized four intensive seminars to be held in February and March. Each seminar will tackle one particular geothermal field. The objective of the seminars is to deepen the understanding of the heat extraction mechanisms and the effects of tectonic movements on the four different volcanic/geothermal system in Iceland. The seminars will analyse and explore the differences and similarities of the systems and the outcome will give a good overview of the existing knowledge and the knowledge gaps in this particular field.  The presentations are in English.

Please Respect the Copyright of the material on this website,

16.2.2012: Hengill                  <Download agenda on pdf>

Hjalti Franzson                          <Download presentation on pdf>
Knútur Árnason                         <Download presentation on pdf>
Þóra Árnadóttir                         <Download presentation on pdf>
Kristín Vogfjörð                         <Download presentation on pdf>
Gunnar Gunnarsson                   <Download presentation on pdf>
Ingvi Gunnarsson                      <Download presentation on pdf>

1.3.2012: Krísuvík                  <Download agenda on pdf>

Kristján Sæmundsson               <Download presentation on pdf>
Gylfi Páll Hersir                        <Download presentation on pdf>
Sigríður Kristjándóttir               <Download presentation on pdf>
Karoline Michalczewska             <Download presentation on pdf>
Halldór Ármansson                    <Download presentation on pdf>
Andri Stefánsson                       <Download presentation on pdf>

15.3.2012: Krafla                    <Download agenda on pdf>

Kristján Sæmundsson                 <Download presentation on pdf>
Anette K Mortensen                    <Download presentation on pdf>

Þráinn Friðriksson                       <Download presentation on pdf>

Sigurður H Markússon                 <Download presentation on pdf>

Kristján Ágústsson                      <Download presentation on pdf>

Sigríður Sif Gylfadóttir                 <Download presentation on pdf>

29.3.2012: Reykjanes.              <Download agenda on pdf>

Guðmundur Ómar Friðleifsson       <Download presentation on pdf>

Þóra Árnadóttir <Download presentation on pdf>

Ragna Karsldóttir <Download presentation on pdf> 

Ólafur G Flóvenz <Download presentation on pdf> 

Þráinn Friðriksson <Download presentation on pdf

Geir Þórólfsson <Download presentation on pdf> 

Summary and discussion lead by Jónas Elíasson 


Friday 14. October, 09:00-12:00Víðgelmir, Orkugardur Grensásvegur 9

Topic for discussion: Physical Processes in Geothermal Systems: Models and Geophysical characterization

This seminar will introduce a comprehensive Icelandic/USA cooperative project under the IPGT agreement called "Advanced 3D Geophysical Imaging Technologies for Geothermal Resource characterization". Dr. Gregory A. Newman from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Dr. Michael Fehler from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Ari Tryggvason from Uppsala University, will attend the conference and give an interesting lecture on the project and discussing its implementation. The focus of the "Advanced 3D Geophysical Imaging Technologies" project is to develop joint geophysical imaging methodologies using complimentary data for geothermal site characterization and demonstrate their potential in three areas: Krafla, the Reykjanes-Hengill areas and Coso in the USA. The emphasis is on Electro-Magnetic, gravity and earthquake data. The joint inversion will be made in an innovative paradigm of joint geometry rather than parametric correlation.
It is divided into four increasingly ambitious stages, from state of the art to fully joint inversion.

Discussions within the a study group on "Deep Roots of Geothermal Systems" will also be summarized. The seminar provides an golden opportunity to follow up on the Deep Root discussions, take it to new levels and see new angles.


08:45-09:00 Coffee and morning refreshments

09:00-09:05 Welcome note by Knútur Árnason (ÍSOR)

09:05-09:15 Advanced 3D Geophysical Imaging Technologies for
Geothermal Resource Characterization. Project overview.
Gregory A. Newman (LBNL)

09:15-09:30 3D resistivity imaging of geothermal systems.
Gregory A. Newman (LBNL)

09:30-09:40 The Hengill_Reykjanes seismic network.
Ólafur Guðmundsson (RU/Uppsala)

09:40-09:50 Imaging of geothermal system using micro-earthquakes,
surface waves andgravity.
Michael Fehler (MIT)

09:50-10:00 Structure and processes in volcanic systems
from LE tomography.
Ari Tryggvason (Uppsala)

10:00-10:30 Geothermal systems, Deep root physics.
Problem statement and state of the art.
Jónas Elíasson (UI)

10:30-11:50 Discussions

11:50-12:00 Rap up and seminar closure.

September 28th,  2011,
Deep Root Seminar, Orkugardur

Hjalti Franzson
Water-rock interaction around the Hrossatungur gabbro in Hafnarfjall-Skarðsheiði central volcano -Download pdf-

Interaction of water and a magmatic heat source has been one of the main issues of the discussions on the deep roots of geothermal systems organized by GEORG. In this talk, I will describe the geological surroundings of a gabbro within the eroded Hafnarfjall-Skarðsheiði central volcano.  The volcano has a caldera structure, cone-sheet swarms and fossil high-temperature systems. The caldera shows a subsidence of some 800 m and is filled with basaltic to andesitic pyroclastic rocks indicating the presence of a „permanent“ caldera lake.  The gabbro is intruded into the caldera filling, apparently at the intersection between steeply dipping basaltic lavas and the pyroclastic caldera filling, and may have been emplaced at a depth of < 300 to 700 m.  The gabbro shows clear indications of multiple magma injections from below, which resulted in ballooning of the gabbro body and magma escape as repeated cone-sheet injections into the surrounding rocks.  The gabbro is a heat source, but shows a contrasting thermal effect on the surrounding environment. Where it lies against the basaltic succession, high temperature alteration is found grading up to a skarn zone adjacent to the gabbro. No apparent alteration is found in the shallowest part of the gabbro where it intrudes the water-soaked caldera pyroclastic filling. There, evidence is found of rapid chilling of the magma with brecciation and associated contrast in crystallization. This geological evidence shows clearly how groundwater permeability controls the heat exchange between magma and a hydrothermal system, where it can range from being extremely rapid to more gradual where permeability is low. 

September 15th,  2011, 
Deep Root Seminar, Orkugardur

Jónas Elíasson
Hydrothermal convection  -Download pdf-

Physical models based on aquifer properties result in Darcy-Lapwood systems where the sole stability parameter is the Rayleigh number.
Linear stability analysis show growth rates of disturbances variable with frequency where only disturbances inside a certain frequency window affect the system. In the non-linear state, growth rates change with the average amplitude, so the system accepts disturbances from its environment and gets independent of the initial conditions by time (forgets its past). Solutions with one unstable mode are stable periodic convection cells, two unstable mode are pseudostable periodic; and three unstable modes fluctuating as is seen in numerical simulations. Nusselt number assessment can be based on the nonlinear growth rates of all unstable modes showing natural state heat output and root zone data

August 27th 2011
Deep Roots of Geothermal Systems
Workshop at Hotel Hengill, Nesjavellir

GEORG, in cooperation with NORDVULK Summer School, is holding a workshop on the Deep Roots of Geothermal Systems. The workshop is a follow-up from the successful seminar series on the topic organized by GEORG last winter.

Jónas Elíasson
Geothermal systems, Deep root physics. Problem statement and state of the art, - Download presentation on pdf -

Grímur Björnsson & Steve Hickman
Conceptualizing stress and permeabilityfields in deep roots of geothermal systems, - Download presentation on pdf -

Ernst Huenges
Enhanced Geothermal Energy Systems - on-going case study in middle Europe, 
(The publication is only free for viewing purposes and PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL RIGTHS ON THE SLIDES REMAINS AT GFZ)
- Download presentation pdf - 

Thomas Driesner
Numerical simulation of magmatic-hydrothermal systems - current state of the art, - Download presentation pdf - - Download a reference list pdf -

Andri Stefánsson
Deep Root Chemistry, - Download presentation pdf -

Guðmudur Ómar Friðleifsson
The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) Drilling into Supercritical Geothermal Systems, - Download presentation pdf -

Below you can see video-clips from the IDDP-1 flow test No. 4 at at Krafla 9-11. August 2011 (click on the arrows in the bottom right corner for full screen).

1.Video clip: The test began by opening a 4" valve into a separate flow line. This lasted for about 10 minutes

2. Video clip: This video clip shows the flow condition ca. 3 minutes after the 12" operating valve had been fully opened into the 500 mm flow line and the rock muffler. The steam turned black after ca. 1 min. flow due to Fe-O-S-compounds from corroded liner.

3. Video clip: After ca. 10 min. flow on the main flow line the steam turned white again and became superheated ca. 25-30 min from the beginning of flow test 4.

4. Video clip: This video clip shows the transparent superheated steam flow ca. 12 h after opening. T: 410°C, P: 40 bar, H: 3150 KJ/Kg, Power output potentially 30-40 MWe. The well was closed 11. August for modification on the flow line. Wet scrubbing pilot test will begin about mid-September 2011.

24. Februrary - 31. March 2011- Weekly open lectures on
Roots of Geothermal Systems.

Venue: Víðgelmir, Orkugarður, Grensásvegi 9
Time: Weekly lectures on Thursdays from 15:00-17:00.

Sveinbjörn Björnsson
Volcanic Roots of Krafla and Hengill, -Download pdf- 

Hjalti Franzson  
Properties of intrusives, -Download pdf- 

Knútur Árnason
Use of Magneto-Telluric prospecting,  -Download pdf-

Stefán Arnórsson
Pressure and temperature of volcanic geothermal systems and their roots, 

Jónas Elíasson
Energy transfer to the deep roots The conceptual model for central volcano fields   -Download pdf-

Guðmundur Ómar Friðleifsson
Heat Sources - Fluid Interactions ,  -Download pdf- 

Guðni Axelsson
Heat extraction in the roots -Download pdf-

Geothermal Reservoir Research in Iceland 

The goal of this interactive workshop was to bring together engineers and scientists involved in geothermal reservoir studies in Iceland to exchange ideas and increase understanding on geothermal resources.  Evaluate ongoing research: What works? What doesn't? What has been accomplished over the past years? 

The workshop was very successful with over 50 participants, excellent presentations and fruitful discussions.  Below you can find video-clip of all the presentations and download a pdf of the presentations.  

Opening address by the Chair
Jónas Ketilsson  
-Download pdf - 

Task 1: Heat transfer from magma intrusions under geothermal systems
Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, University of Iceland -Download pdf -

Task 2: Boundary conditions and roots of the geothermal systems
Gunnar Gunnarsson, Reykjavik Energy -Download pdf -

Task 3: Reservoir parameters
Hjalti Fransson, Iceland GeoSurvey -Download pdf - 

Task 4: How to estimate production capacity of green fields
Héðinn Björnsson, Iceland GeoSurvey -Download pdf -

Task 5: Intrinsic or structural anisotropy
Snorri Páll Kjaran, Vatnaskil Consulting Engineers -Download pdf -

Task 6: Coupling reactive transport to reservoir modeling
Edda S. P. Aradóttir, HI/ Reykjavik Energy -Download pdf -  

Task 7: Relative permeabilities for two phase flow in geothermal reservoirs
María S. Guðjónsdóttir, HR/HÍ   -Download pdf -

Task 8: Mathematical modeling of energy flow in a geothermal reservoir
Halldór Pálsson, University of Iceland  -Download pdf -