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On the future development of superhot and supercritical geothermal systems

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The development of high-temperature geothermal fields with supercritical conditions are emerging as a new hot topic in various parts of the world since a significantly higher power output seems feasible with less drilling required. However, superhot geothermal systems (SHGS) with temperatures over 350°C require novel and innovative exploration and exploitation concepts, adapted to the special conditions encountered at depth. Therefore, considerable research efforts are necessary for (i) an improved understanding of the conditions at depth (e.g., fractures, rock properties, stress field, chemistry, risks) at a sufficient confidence level, and (ii) the development of novel concepts for a successful development of such resources, which may differ from well-established methods currently used for conventional hydrothermal systems. This includes advancements in drilling technologies, well integrity, installation materials, and well logging, as well as development of risk mitigation and management concepts adapted for higher temperatures and pressures. In this context, the application of Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) technologies may be part of the solution.
The aim of this special issue is to merge experiences gained in past and ongoing international projects (e.g., IDDP, DEEPEGS, DESCRAMBLE, GEMex, JBBP, NEWGEN and others) with a major focus on the development of concepts for the use of high-temperature geothermal fields. This special issue attempts to (i) present novel ideas and possible solutions, and (ii) pose future research questions to the geothermal community to make use of a powerful resource at great depth in a sustainable manner.


Lead Guest Editor
Egbert Jolie, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Guest Editors
Hiroshi Asanuma, AIST, Japan
Guðmundur Ómar Friðleifsson, IDDP, Iceland


  1. Hydrothermal alteration is a common process in active geothermal systems and can significantly change the physiochemical properties of rocks. To improve reservoir assessment and modeling of high-temperature ge...

    Authors: Leandra M. Weydt, Federico Lucci, Alicja Lacinska, Dirk Scheuvens, Gerardo Carrasco-Núñez, Guido Giordano, Christopher A. Rochelle, Stefanie Schmidt, Kristian Bär and Ingo Sass
    Citation: Geothermal Energy 2022 10:20
  2. The Los Humeros Volcanic Complex has been characterized as a suitable target for developing a super-hot geothermal system (> 350 °C). For the interpretation of geophysical data, the development and parametriza...

    Authors: Leandra M. Weydt, Kristian Bär and Ingo Sass
    Citation: Geothermal Energy 2022 10:5
  3. Continuous high-resolution gravimetry is increasingly used to monitor mass distribution changes in volcanic, hydrothermal or other complex geosystems. To quantify the often small target signals, gravity contri...

    Authors: Florian Forster, Andreas Güntner, Philippe Jousset, Marvin Reich, Benjamin Männel, Jacques Hinderer and Kemal Erbas
    Citation: Geothermal Energy 2021 9:26
  4. Cementing operations in wellbores, especially for long casings, are often challenging and prone to deficiencies when not properly planned and executed. While exploring for and exploiting of geothermal resource...

    Authors: Martin P. Lipus, Thomas Reinsch, Tobias B. Weisenberger, Steinar Kragset, Ari Stefánsson and Sigurdur G. Bogason
    Citation: Geothermal Energy 2021 9:5
  5. Alternative (unconventional) deep geothermal designs are needed to provide a secure and efficient geothermal energy supply. An in-depth sensitivity analysis was investigated considering a deep borehole closed-...

    Authors: Hannah R. Doran, Theo Renaud, Gioia Falcone, Lehua Pan and Patrick G. Verdin
    Citation: Geothermal Energy 2021 9:4