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Theme 8: Energy, materials, resources

(Christoph Berthold, Reiner Klemd, Ralf Littke)

Session 8.1: Hydrothermal systems and related mineral and geothermal resources

Philipp Weis (GFZ, Potsdam), Thomas Wagner (RWTH Aachen University)

Fluid flow through permeable rocks is the essential driver for heat and mass transport in Earth´s upper crust and controls the formation of hydrothermal mineral deposits and geothermal resources. The economic potential of hydrothermal systems results from optimal combinations of chemical and physical fluid-rock interactions, including permeability creation and destruction due to mineral precipitation and dissolution, hydraulic fracturing, deep heat transfer, rock alteration, metal mobility, fluid phase separation, brittle-ductile transitions and fluid focusing in geological structures. Quantitative understanding of these geological and hydrological processes is still in its infancy and needs substantial future research efforts. We invite contributions providing insights into the key processes that form mineral and geothermal resources, including field studies, geochemical analyses of natural samples, geophysical measurements, numerical process modelling and metal solubility and speciation experiments.


Session 8.2: Structure, properties, and applications of crystalline materials

Michael Fischer (University of Bremen)

It is the aim of this session to bring together materials-oriented researchers from the geosciences and neighboring disciplines in order to discuss recent advances in the field of materials science. The session will focus on crystalline materials, which may be of natural (e.g. geomaterials, biominerals) or synthetic origin (e.g. ceramics, nanocomposites).
Potential areas for contributions include (but are not limited to):
• Advanced structural characterization methods, e.g. in-situ studies, combination of crystallographic and spectroscopic methods
• Physical properties and structure-property relationships
• Applications, e.g. in energy storage and conversion, catalysis, environmental applications
• Computational studies


Session 8.3: Economic geology of critical raw materials

Volker Lüders (GFZ, Potsdam), Michael Bau (Jacobs University Bremen), Torsten Graupner (BGR, Hannover)

Recently, increasing demand for technology-critical strategic metals (e.g. Co, Li, Ge, Ga, Sb, Sn, Cu, Nb, Ta, as well as REE and PGE) has led to a misbalance between supply and demand, and the dependence on single suppliers has added significant supply risk. Apart from the socio-economic impact of inadequate raw metals supply, there are also major challenges ahead for the geoscience and mineral processing community. There is general agreement that almost all (near-)surface ore deposits have already been discovered and that many are already mined out. Since to date the supply of strategic metals cannot be secured by recycling, supply from new ore deposits is needed in the near future. This requires continuous exploration for ore deposits and related research and technology development for exploration, efficient and eco-friendly mining and ore processing, particularly of unconventional resources such as marine manganese nodules, phosphorites and deep-sea sulfides.
We invite contributions that address this field of ore deposit research and particularly encourage contributions from projects funded within the BMBF r4 framework.


Session 8.4: Spectroscopic 2D-methods: Multiscale imaging spectroscopy

Dieter Rammlmair, Michaela Frei (both: BGR, Hannover)

Earth sciences and in particular, the investigation of mineral raw materials require the link of information mutually over different scale levels, from the satellite into the submicroscopic range. Particularly the macroscopic investigations as mediators from the remote to the microscopic level are the focus here. Modern imaging spectroscopic methods, e.g. Hyperspectral, LIBS and EDXRF, close a gap within the chemical/mineralogical range and this information can be fed into the adjacent scale levels, to improve a comprehensive assessment.


Session 8.5: Geothermal heat supply in areas of high population density

Sebastian Bauer, Ralf Köber (both: University of Kiel)

The transition to an energy system relying mainly on renewable resources is one of the major challenges in the next decades. Crucial to this task is the role of renewable heat supply of urban areas, since this could cover a large share of the total energy demand, but has previously received too little attention. Using geothermal heat resources as well as subsurface heat storage of waste heat or heat from solar or wind power on the seasonal scale may contribute to the aim of renewable cities. Large scale employment of these techniques induce changes in subsurface temperatures and affect groundwater composition and movement. We invite contributions to this session addressing all aspects of geothermal heat supply or storage in an urban context.