Facility access

In phase one of EPOS-NL, two main groups of facilities will be developed. Access to the facilities is provided in the framework of the (trans)national access policy of EPOS and the European charter for Transnational access for large scale research facilities.

The Utrecht University Earth Simulation Infrastructure will create a unique, large-scale facility with unprecedented capabilities for multi-scale research into the behaviour of the Earth’s crust: fully coupled reservoir analogue models, new generation rock mechanics experiments under true crustal conditions, fluid flow experiments and state-of-the-art rock sample analyses, all linked in an advanced numerical modelling facility with a focus on upscaling from the laboratory to the reservoir and field scale. The rock sample analysis will include innovative nano-tomography systems to characterize rock microstructures from the nano-pore to drill core scale.

  • The HPT lab (High Pressure and Temperature laboratory) is equipped with a wide variety of facilities. These involve apparatus for deformation at high pressure and temperature, high temperature furnaces and apparatus for thermal, microstructural and IR analysis.
  • The TecLab (tectonic modelling laboratory) uses 'scaled analogue models' to better understand large scale tectonic deformation processes, such as the breakup of the Earth's crust or the formation of mountain ranges.
  • The Electron Microscopy facility EM Square at Utrecht University is devoted to the development and application of electron microscopy methodologies for life sciences, geosciences, and material sciences research, covering the entire range of specimen preparation, electron microscopy data collection and analysis, and 3D reconstruction techniques. The advanced instruments available for geoscience research include a Focused ion beam SEM and an analytical Transmission electron microscope.

DAPWELL a deep geothermal well doublet – one well for production of hot water and one for the reinjection of the cooled down water – will be installed on the TU Delft campus to serve as an infrastructure for fundamental and applied research on an operating geothermal system. The wells will also heat the TU Delft campus buildings in the winter and thus offer the opportunity for the testing of methods and an optimization of the energy usage by direct application of research results – a unique opportunity worldwide.

DAPWELL geothermal wells, with (red) production well and (blue) well for injection of cold water in the Delft sandstone reservoir at about 2 km depth.

The wells will be 2-2.5 km deep. One will be equipped with an advanced composite casing designed to avoid the corrosion problems plaguing almost all geothermal wells. Cores will be drilled and analysed for the characterisation of the reservoir and the cold water front will be monitored. Monitoring equipment will include a downhole fibre optic cable to measure temperature, acoustic signals and compaction, as well as 2D seismic and electromagnetic monitoring networks. DAPWELL provides a testbed for verifying and optimising subsurface models of geothermal systems and research will be supported by experimental, microstructural, geochemical, modelling and seismological studies conducted in EPOS-NL lab facilitites..

The Petrophysics Lab of TU Delft is part of the Lab of the Department of Geoscience & Engineering and is specialised in the characterization of rock physical properties needed for the geophysical imaging and monitoring of the subsurface. Capabilities include rock mechanics experiments, seismic velocity measurements, XRF core-scanning and micro-X-ray tomography of rock structures, also under in-situ pT conditions and in flow cells.