OR/19/032 Appendix A - Working at UKGEOS

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Monaghan, A A, Starcher, V, Dochartaigh, B Ó, Shorter, K, and Burkin, J. 2019. UK Geoenergy Observatories: Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site - Science infrastructure Version 2. UKGEOS Programme. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/19/032.

A.1 Overview

The UKGEOS Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site is open to researchers from the UK and internationally. Researchers both from academia and from industry are welcome. Each set of boreholes will be within an accessible research compound that also contains environmental baseline monitoring equipment.

A.2 On-site facilities

The research facilities will be limited to the borehole compounds. Within the urban area, there are a range of food, drink and welfare facilities nearby. Currently there are no dedicated laboratory facilities, though there are a number of universities and laboratories nearby.

A.3 Science facilities

A.3.1 Borehole compounds

An illustration of two of the ‘research phase’ borehole compounds is given above (Figures 15, 16). Access to the boreholes for sampling and experimentation will be managed by a research steering committee and operated by BGS.

A.3.2 Core viewing facilities

Core examination laboratories are available to use at BGS Keyworth.

A.3.3 Core scanning facilities

A state-of the art, core scanning facility is available as part of the National Geological Repository (NGR) at Keyworth, Nottingham, UK. The NGR Core Scanning Facility hosts several high-resolution core scanners (e.g. Figure 20) that allow whole, split, or slabbed rock and sediment cores to be, continuously and non-destructively, scanned before being further processed. Core scanning provides detailed information on the geophysical, mineralogical, and geochemical characteristics of the core, records core quality and fundamental variations downcore, and allows high-definition optical, near-infrared (NIR), ultraviolet (UV), and X-radiographic images to be taken.

Figure 20    Itrax XRF core scanner at BGS Keyworth.

The following core scanning facilities are available:

  • X-ray tomography — Rotating X-ray computed tomography visualises and records internal structures present within the core to determine core quality, heterogeneity and fracture networks
  • Geophysics and core imaging — Multi-sensor core logging providing ultra-high definition core images and geophysical analyses, including:
  • bulk density, porosity, salinity, and/or P-wave velocity profiles
  • core quality, heterogeneity, and lithology variations (e.g., grain-size, texture, colour)
  • estimations of water content and permeability
  • compositional changes etc.
  • X-ray fluorescence scanners — These acquire elemental abundances and variations downcore, and produce 2D XRF maps. XRF scanning is a well-established, non-destructive method that allows:
  • Characterisation of rock and sediment provenances
  • Interpretation of mineralogy and matrix properties etc.

A.4 Health and safety

Users of the research facility will be required to follow site Health and Safety procedures.

A.5 Research access

Longer term arrangements for research access are being discussed and are likely to involve application to a facilities steering committee.

Early facility access for time-dependent and construction to early baseline monitoring phase sampling, plus installation of infrastructure during the construction phase has been organised via

  • A workshop open to the science community
  • A call for applications from BGS
  • An early facility access form
  • A small committee to judge on scientific merit, practicality and cost/time implications
  • Funding for early facility access is NOT in place.

The NERC data policy will apply to research use of the facility.

A.6 Commercial access

Commercial access is likely to involve payment of a fee for use of the facility. Costs and terms of access will be available in due course.

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