Mine Water and the Environment

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 2–14 | Cite as

Numerical Modeling of Geothermal Use of Mine Water: Challenges and Examples

  • A. Renz
  • Wolfram Rühaak
  • P. Schätzl
  • H.-J. G. Diersch
Technical Communication


Geothermal energy, including the geothermal use of mine water, is increasingly important, due to ecological and economical reasons. Numerical flow and heat transport models can help to estimate the efficiency of such facilities. In addition, it is possible to test different configurations. However, the modeling of mine voids is challenging because it is necessary to simultaneously solve the heat transport in the surrounding porous medium and within the mine workings. Different modeling approaches are demonstrated, such as 2-D cross-sections, 2-D models with 1-D elements for the mine workings, and 3-D models. It is shown that numerical simulations can provide sufficient validity for specific modeling goals. However, none of the currently feasible modeling strategies can be seen as a perfect and fully physical solution. Suggestions are given on how to use the different approaches.


Geothermal energy Geothermics Heat transport Mine water Numerical modeling 



Some of the data on the geological structure that we used had been collected by fellows within the project “Dynamik abgesoffener oder gefluteter Salzbergwerke und ihres Deckgebirgsstockwerks,” which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany (BMBF) under contract 02 C 1516. However, the presented models should not be considered to accurately represent the subsurface there. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Renz
    • 1
  • Wolfram Rühaak
    • 1
  • P. Schätzl
    • 1
  • H.-J. G. Diersch
    • 1
  1. 1.DHI-WASY GmbHBerlinGermany

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