Among the most promising, but least understood geothermal systems are those contained within carbonate rocks – namely limestones and dolostones. The way these rocks deform can fundamentally determine the viability of these geothermal reservoirs.
The depleted North Sea oil and gas fields are commonly put forward as the best sites in the UK for carbon capture and storage (CCS). Another – often overlooked – option is the layer of Triassic sandstone, saturated with salt water, that sits above layers of salt under the North Sea.
When contaminants leak out from waste disposal sites or industrial processes, it’s vital to know how far and how fast they will spread. This requires understanding of the materials themselves, but also of the subsurface geology and the chemical conditions through which they will travel.
Beneath our post-industrial towns and cities lies a huge network of disused mines, a legacy of the drive for coal to power Britain’s industrial revolution. Now researchers at the University of Leeds are helping local authorities use this neglected resource to help our move to a low carbon economy.