Case studies

Expertise at the University of Leeds is helping to de-risk exploitation of one of the main onshore sites with potential for UK deep geothermal: the Cheshire Basin.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Several years ago, Sweden’s national nuclear energy company, SKB, identified a suitable site for the country’s repository for spent nuclear waste fuel at Forsmark, 200 km north of Stockholm.
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Geoscientists from the University of Leeds are using expertise in seismic data interpretation and stratigraphy to reduce costs and to improve the lifespan of turbines for the offshore wind industry.
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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.
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Satellite data to understand the subsurface
A technique for monitoring volcanoes is being used to help operators of geothermal energy plants better understand the risks of triggered earthquakes.