Prof. dr. Jan-Diederik van Wees

Willem C. van Unnikgebouw
Heidelberglaan 2
3584 CS Utrecht

Prof. dr. Jan-Diederik van Wees


The chair Geothermal Exploration promotes integrated numerical model development and applied integrated studies in the following fields of research:

  • Linkage of lithospheric, basin and magmatic processes, to predict resource quality with focus on tectonic heat flow and temperatures
  • Linkage of lithospheric and basin processes, to predict resource productivity and safety with focus on natural stress, fractures, induced seismicity, temperature
  • Probabilistic techniques for techno-economic analysis and performance assessment
  • Joint inversion and data assimilation


For cost-effective geothermal exploration and safe exploitation of geothermal resources,  knowledge of temperature and prediction of achievable flow rates at drillable depth is a prerequisite for site selection. Tectonic studies assessing fault rheology, crustal stress and fracture permeability provide critical constraints for enhancing natural flow performance and for predicting levels of induced seismicity. The development of innovative combinations of multi-scale multi-physics modelling techniques is key to better understand the spatial and temporal variations in crustal stress, temperature, gravity etc and to provide helpful constraints for geothermal exploration and production, including capability to perform (joint) inversion constrained by a variety of multiscale basin geophsyics data.

In addition, the chair aims to develop novel techniques for the techno-economic performance of geothermal resources and demonstrate its value for informed decisions under uncertainty at different aggregation levels including prospect, portfolio, and regional/national policy perspective. 


Geothermal Exploration