Within NWO's DeepNL program, seven new research projects will develop knowledge about the dynamics of the deep subsurface under the influence of human interventions. One of the projects is lead by dr. Islam Fadel and prof.dr. Mark van der Meijde and is about imaging the 3D physical properties of the crust and upper mantle of the Dutch subsurface. Other awarded projects include studies on the rock layers directly above and below a gas field, and a better estimate of the maximum magnitude of earthquakes in Groningen.
The awards are part of the third call within the program and complement the 11 ongoing DeepNL projects. The new research projects have the size of about one PhD or postdoc position with a maximum budget of 350,000 euros each. The funding decision was made by the NWO Science board and follows from an independent assessment by international experts of the 14 submitted applications.
The research program DeepNL aims improve the fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the deep subsurface under the influence of human interventions. DeepNL focuses on the effects of gas extraction in Groningen through an integrated approach but also aims to develop a knowledge base for geothermal energy production and underground CO2 and hydrogen storage through insight into processes and the development of models and methods. These grants contribute to three NWO ambitions: Nexus (connecting agendas, science and society), people (perspective for researchers), and research (collaboration for excellence and innovation).
Dr. Islam Fadel explains: "the ambition of safely utilizing the deep Dutch subsurface for current and future investment, like the emerging ultra-deep geothermal projects, requires good insight into the conditions in the Earth at these depths. At this moment this information is not available, and we propose to create new crust and upper mantle models of the Netherlands with unprecedented resolution. The models will be of multi-physics nature, including seismic velocities, density, and temperature. These new models will serve as a crucial layer of information for decision-makers regarding locating resources and risk assessment."
Please visit the website of NWO to learn more on the seven projects that are funded within the DeepNL program.