This study aims on investigating the regional flow field of the Soultz and adjacent geothermal fields located on the western side of the central Upper Rhine Graben and thus to provide insight into the origin of the 70% of the geothermal fluid coming from the regional inflow in the deep reservoir of the Soultz site. In an integrative approach, we consolidate conceptual models on fluid flow in the central Upper Rhine Graben.
Based on a 3D geological model and a new 3D temperature interpolation, we tackle the relation between tectonic structures and the occurrence of advection/convection along favourably oriented fault zones. Using sequential Butterworth filters, we study the distribution of negative residual anomalies in a pseudo-tomography down to a depth of about 6 to 8 km.
We derived N-S-striking V-shaped negative anomalies that are consistent with the orientation of fault zones revealing major temperature anomalies to their east.
Following the concept of negative anomalies revealing zones of increased fracture porosity, and in agreement with fluid-chemistry, our findings suggest infilt ... mehrration of meteoric water through the graben boundary fault and along preferential flow pathways that merge at intermediate depth. Up-flow of thermal water mixed most likely with brine from the deeper eastern part of the graben occurs along W-dipping typically rather steep structures.