Sulphur isotopes in deep groundwater reservoirs: evidence from post-stimulation flowback at the Pohang geothermal facility, Korea

Banks, D. , Boyce, A. J. , Westaway, R. and Burnside, N. M. (2021) Sulphur isotopes in deep groundwater reservoirs: evidence from post-stimulation flowback at the Pohang geothermal facility, Korea. Geothermics, 91, 102003. (doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2020.102003)

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A hydraulic stimulation was carried out on a granodiorite reservoir in an enhanced geothermal system in August 2017 in Pohang, Korea. Water injected into the 4.2 km deep PX-1 well contained c. 330−360 mg/L sulphate, with a negative δ34S. The resulting flowback water became more saline with time, with sulphate and chloride concentrations and dissolved sulphate δ34S all increasing. Compared with conservative advective-dispersive and mixing models, the flowback contained surplus sulphate with an elevated δ34S. The PX-1 reservoir fluid is saturated with respect to anhydrite at downhole temperatures and pressures. Dissolution by injected surface water of secondary anhydrite along fracture surfaces, most likely with elevated δ34S reflecting the reservoir fluid, is likely to have resulted in an excess of 34S-enriched sulphate in the flowback fluid. An alternative hypothesis involving oxidation of pyrite is also plausible but is stoichiometrically inadequate to account for the observed sulphate excess, and unlikely from a sulphur isotopic perspective. This analysis thus contributes to the evidence for water-rock reactions during stimulation of the Pohang granodiorite.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian and Burnside, Dr Neil and Banks, Mr David and Westaway, Dr Robert
Creator Roles:
Banks, D.Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Writing – original draft
Boyce, A. J.Resources, Writing – review and editing
Westaway, R.Conceptualization, Investigation, Formal analysis, Writing – review and editing
Burnside, N. M.Conceptualization, Resources, Investigation, Writing – review and editing, Project administration
Authors: Banks, D., Boyce, A. J., Westaway, R., and Burnside, N. M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Geothermics
ISSN (Online):1879-3576
Published Online:24 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Geothermics 91: 102003
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172593DESTRESSNeil BurnsideEuropean Commission (EC)691728ENG - Systems Power & Energy