SUBSURFACE ENERGY APPLICATIONS: CROSS-CUTTING RESEARCH NEEDS AND THE ROLE OF DEEP GEOSCIENCE OBSERVATORIES
This presentation first discusses selected cross-cutting challenges to be addressed by SubTER that, if achieved, could transform our utilization of the subsurface for both energy production and waste storage. The talk then moves on to the important role that geosciences field observatories can play in this context. First, controlled field experiments in geoscience observatories can be used to improve process understanding and apply methodologies developed. Second, geoscience observatories are useful for testing effects of heterogeneity and real‐world conditions which can sometimes lead to unexpected effects and mechanisms not predicted by theory or laboratory work. Finally, geoscience observatories can be community builders that tie research and development to industry and stakeholders, through demonstrations and ultimately adoption. Several existing and planned examples of deep geoscience observatories are presented and discussed, addressing a range of R&D challenges in several subsurface energy applications such as geologic carbon sequestration, geothermal energy, hydrocarbon extraction, and nuclear waste isolation.