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Japan Beyond-Brittle Project (JBBP)



Previous engineered geothermal system power generation methods have two types bottle necks for practical utilization; one is that the recoverability of injected water is about 50 % or less than that in natural-fracture-dominant regions like Japan inevitably requiring replenishment of voluminous injected water at any time throughout the power generation operation, and the other is that the injected water raises pore fluid pressures of crustal rocks causing induced felt earthquakes. We propose a new type power generation method using engineered geothermal system adequate in the volcanic zones that the two types bottle necks can be solved at the same time by the nucleation of an artificial brittle fracture reservoir system completely surrounded in the ductile zones at a temperature around 500 ºC which are already confirmed such as in the Kakkonda geothermal field, northeastern Japan. This method depends on the profitable depth of drilling but would dramatically expand the exploitable geothermal resources to the thermal conduction type resources beyond the brittle zones. However, geothermal wells that clearly penetrated the brittle-ductile transition are still very rare except for the well WD-1a in Kakkonda, so that scientific logging data on the brittle-ductile transition and ductile zones are not fully acquired until the present partly due to the high temperature barrier for logging tools. The purpose of this workshop is comprehensively to collect geothermal information in the forefront on the brittle-ductile transition and ductile zones, concerning a variety of aspects such as the system design of the engineered geothermal system in ductile zones, theoretical rock mechanics, numerical simulations, laboratory experiments, high-temperature drilling technology, high-temperature logging technology and high-temperature stimulation technology in ductile zones toward the scientific drilling project.

The final goal of this scientific drilling project is to demonstrate the feasibility of the engineered geothermal system power generation in ductile zone with sustaining 100 % of recoverability of injected water and avoiding disastrous induced earthquakes. Before launching the scientific drilling project, we need to carefully design the optimum scientific research plan and schedule of the entire project, including theoretical analyses, numerical simulations, laboratory experiments, scientific drillings, well loggings and well experiments. This project should also cover multidiscipline scientific fields such as geology, geochemistry, geophysics, water-rock interactions, rock mechanics, seismology, drilling technology, well logging technology, reservoir engineering and environmental science. Therefore, to launch the scientific drilling project, we need to hold an international workshop which will discuss the optimum procedure to design the scientific drilling project.
 (Figure ©:H. Muraoka)



Asia, Japan



39.7167, 140.9500 (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)


Project Start and End
  • not yet determined


Programs and Funding


Principal Investigators
  • Hirofumi Muraoka, Hirosaki University, North Japan Research Institute for Sustainable Energy
  • Hiroshi Asanuma, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute
  • Mailinh Doan, Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble, Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Lab. de Géoph. Int. et Tectonoph., Obs. of Earth and Planetary Sc.
  • Michael Fehler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
  • Ernst Huenges, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 6.2, Geothermal Reservoirs
  • Takatoshi Ito, Tohoku University, Institute of Fluid Science
  • Douglas R. Schmitt, University of Alberta at Edmonton, Department of Physics
  • Yougui Song, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Earth Environment
  • Noriyoshi Tsuchiya, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Science, Environmental Science, Geomaterial and Energy Laboratory
  • Takashi Uchida, Japan National Oil Corporation, Technology Research Center


Cooperating Principal Investigators

No Co-PIs found for this project


Partners and Contractors



Asia, Ductile Zones, Geothermal, ICDP-2012/08, Japan, JBBP, Recoverability, Seismicity


Current State





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