Unique experiments in fractured crystalline rock

GeoLaB (Geothermal Laboratory in the Crystalline Basement) is a planned Helmholtz large-scale infrastructure. The international and interdisciplinary research platform focuses on the thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical (THMC) processes of deep geothermal reservoirs and reservoir engineering issues. The overarching aim of the research is a safe and ecologically sustainable use of the most important geothermal resources in Germany and worldwide.

For this purpose, a generic underground geoscientific laboratory in the fractured crystalline basement of the Schwarzwald-Odenwald complex shall be built. This rock type has the greatest geothermal potential worldwide for geothermal electricity generation and heat supply and is also highly relevant for other geotechnologies.

GeoLaB is designed as a joint research infrastructure of the Helmholtz research fields "Energy" and "Earth and Environment". Only when both perspectives come together in GeoLaB can environmentally compatible technology development succeed. In this way, synergetic research combines a long-term energy supply with sustainable resource use. 

The official start of GeoLaB as a strategic expansion investment of the Helmholtz Association is January 1, 2023.

GeoLaB im Gesamt-Setting
Underground research lab GeoLaB approved

As a joint research infrastructure of the research fields Energy and Earth and Environment, the Helmholtz Association invests in GeoLaB as a strategic development investment.

To the press release
3D-Abbildung Kluftöffnungen und Fließrate
Analysis 3D flow through rough fractures

3D flow simulation with Navier-Stokes and stochastically modelled complex geometries explains channeling

Zur Veröffentlichung
Untertagelabor GeoLaB: Experimentelles Setup
Geothermal energy indispensable for the heat transition

Joint Roadmap of Helmholtz-Centres and Fraunhofer-Institutes shows fields of action for a sustainable heat provision

Press release
Eva Schill
Appointment of Prof. Eva Schill to the Editorial Board "Energies"

GeoLaB project manager Prof. Eva Schill was appointed to the editorial board of the magazine "Energies" in May 2020. Now three Helmholtz actors are represented in the geothermal section of the journal.

Editorial Board "Energies", Section "Geo-Energy"
Flow qantification in fractures with rough surfaces

Based on an algorithm for generating fractal surfaces, the anisotropic flow properties through fractures in rocks were investigated for the first time and compared with different modeling approaches in a statistical analysis. 

Marchand et al. (2020): Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Proteste gegen GeothermieGeckeis
A geoethical concept for GeoLaB

A geoethical concept for GeoLaB is presented. This goes beyond typical communication and PR measures and combines research with social perception.

Meller et al. (2018): Geothermics 73, 133-145.
Arbeiten im Felslabor in ÄspöBremer
Preparatory experiments in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory

The Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory in Sweden offers excellent opportunities for preliminary tests with regard to experiments in GeoLaB. Indeed, groundbreaking results have already been achieved in hydraulic stimulation experiments under the direction of the GFZ.

Zang et al. (2017): Geophysical Journal International 208 (2)