TC308 Energy Geotechnics

Energy Geotechnics

Disseminate knowledge and practice in the area of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering associated with Energy Geotechnics including as examples, thermal/cooling effects on soil and rock behavior; effect of high pressure cycles in soils; hydraulic fracturing, coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical and Chemical processes in soils and rocks:

1. Organize specialty conferences, symposiums and workshops. 1st International Conference on Energy Geotechnics. Tentatively end of 2015 beginning of 2016. Host to be decided.

2. Promote sessions sponsored by the Energy Geotechnics Committee on related topics at ISSMGE sponsored international and regional conferences on soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering.

3. Encourage preparation of keynote lectures, state-of-the-art lectures including new technology, general reports for conferences organized by the International Society, regional conferences and conferences organized by Member societies.

4. Promote benchmark exercises to establish the capabilities of current theoretical frameworks and prediction methodologies in the area of Energy Geotechnics.


To establish guidelines and technical recommendations within the Energy Geotechnics subject area:

1. Promote the exchange of information about standards, guidelines and testing procedures related to Energy Geotechnics problems identified in the list of tasks below.

Assist with technical programs of international and regional conferences organized by the ISSMGE: 1.Promote the presentation of the findings of the TC in main sessions and discussion sessions.

Interact with industry and overlapping organizations working in areas related to the TC?s specialist area: 1. Identify overlapping organizations and decide how to interact with them. 2. Cooperate actively with other technical committees whose field of activity involves important questions related to Energy Geotechnics: TC 212 Deep Foundations; TC 106 Unsaturated Soils; TC209 Offshore Geotechnics; TC307 Sustainability in Geotechnical Engineering; TC215 Environmental Geotechnics, TC105 Geomechanics from Micro to Macro, TC103 Numerical Methods in Geomechanics, and TC307 Sustainability in Geotechnical Engineering.

# Type Full Name Country
1 Chair Marcelo Sanchez Castilla United States
2 Secretary Malek Bouazza Australia
3 Nominated by TC Chair J.Carlos Santamarina United States
4 Nominated by TC Chair Jean-Michel Pereira France
5 Nominated by TC Chair Tomasz Hueckel United States
6 Nominated Member Duncan Nicholson United Kingdom
7 Nominated Member Gye-Chun Cho South Korea
8 Corresponding Member Seung Rae Lee South Korea
9 Corresponding Member Duhee Park South Korea
10 Corresponding Member Changho Choi South Korea
11 Corresponding Member David Taborda United Kingdom
12 Corresponding Member Victor Terente United Kingdom
13 Nominated Member Fleur Loveridge United Kingdom
14 Nominated Member Tae Sup Yun South Korea
15 Nominated Member INGRID TOMAC Croatia
16 Corresponding Member Jean Vaunat Spain
17 Nominated Member Norma Patricia López Acosta Mexico
18 Nominated Member ANA VIEIRA Portugal
19 Nominated Member Alessio Ferrari Switzerland
20 Nominated Member Leonardo Guimarães Brazil
21 Corresponding Member Dai Sheng United States
22 Corresponding Member Shun Uchida United States
23 Corresponding Member Minsu Cha United States
24 Nominated Member Dipanjan Basu Canada
25 Corresponding Member Gabriele Della Vecchia Italy
26 Nominated Member Francesca Casini Italy
27 Corresponding Member Ashraf Osman United Kingdom
28 Nominated Member Gust Van Lysebetten Belgium
29 Nominated Member Farimah MASROURI France
30 Nominated Member Te-Fu Chiu Chinese Taipei
31 Nominated Member Jun Yang Hong Kong
32 Nominated Member Charles Ng Hong Kong
33 Nominated Member Cesar Pasten Chile
34 Corresponding Member Abraham Chung-Fai Chiu China
35 Corresponding Member Tae-Hyuk Kwon South Korea
36 Nominated Member Henry Gustavsson Finland
37 Nominated Member Salah Sadek Lebanon
38 Nominated Member weimin Ye China
39 Corresponding Member Anh Minh TANG France
40 Nominated Member Dietmar Adam Austria
41 Nominated Member Christos Tsatsanifos Greece
42 Nominated Member Ayfer Erken Turkey
43 Corresponding Member Hamza Gullu Turkey
44 Nominated Member Guido Musso Italy
45 Nominated Member Gregory Siemens Canada
46 Nominated Member Bertrand François Belgium
47 Corresponding Member Albert Yeung Hong Kong
48 Nominated Member Jana Frankovská Czech & Slovak Republics
49 Nominated Member Tom Schanz Germany
50 Nominated Member Frank Wuttke Germany
51 Corresponding Member Francesco Cecinato Italy

There is no news to show for this TC

Host Member Society: USA
Short name: Energy Geotechnics (TC308)


GeoWorld Group:

1st ICEGT-2016 - First International Conference on Energy Geotechncis, 29 – 31 August 2016, Kiel, Germany.


The following task forces have been initially identified. Task forces I) and II) are mainly associated with energy production; task forces III) and IV) with energy conversion and storage; and task forces V) and VI) with storage of highly pollutant waste from the energy sector and CO2. Task force VII is associated with others geotechnical activities related to energy not contemplated in the previous task forces. A brief description of each task force is introduced as follows.

I) Gas Hydrate Sediments (Task leader: J.Carlos Santamarina)

Methane hydrates are solid compounds made of water molecules clustered around low molecular weight gas molecules. Methane hydrates form under pressure and temperature conditions that are common in deep marine sediments and sub-permafrost layers. Stability and behavior of Hydrate Bearing Sediments (HBS) are characterized by the metastable character of the gas hydrate structure which strongly depends on Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical and Chemical actions. Methane hydrate deposits can lead to large-scale submarine slope failures, blowouts, platform foundation failures, and borehole instability. Gas hydrates also constitute an attractive source of energy as they are estimated to contain very large reserves of methane. Despite the widespread recognition of the importance of naturally occurring gas hydrates, the understanding of the fundamental physical processes associated with gas hydrate formation, HBS stability and hydrate dissociation in porous sediments remains in its infancy

II) Unconventional Hydrocarbon. Hydraulic Fracturing (Task leader: Leonardo Guimarães)

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to stimulate the production of gas and oil by developing fractures in the geological formation. Fractures are created by pumping large quantities of fluids (which generally include proppants, sand, ceramic pellets or other small incompressible particles) at high pressure down deep wellbores (that may include horizontal or directional sections) into the target claystone formation. These fractures can extend several hundred feet away from the wellbore. The high pressures introduce important changes in the geomechanical behavior of the formation. This strongly coupled hydro-mechanical problem brings unprecedented challenges to the geomechanics community.  

III) Energy Geo-Structure and Storage of Thermal Energy in the Ground (Task leader: Guney Olgun) 

Energy geo-structures such as thermal piles, diaphragm walls and tunnels can utilize the ground for heating and cooling of structures. These thermo-active elements in contact with the ground can be used as pathways to extract heat in the winter and inject heat in the summer. Therefore ground-source heat exchange can help in balancing the heat energy demand over seasons and also help in maintaining a better energy management between structures with different energy demand profiles. The use of deep foundation elements as heat exchangers presents unique challenges for the broader geotechnical engineering profession. The processes that govern the heat exchange behavior can affect the load transfer mechanisms of these deep foundation elements. There is need to synthesize various thermal pile design guidelines available in different countries. There are also opportunities for using heat in these applications to improve the behavior of some types of soils. Opportunities for storage of heat obtained from renewable resources (solar thermal, fuel cells, etc.) in soils and borehole arrays are another important area of future research. This coupling necessitates a broad understanding of thermal and mechanical processes. These complex phenomena relate to thermal soil behavior and temperature induced soil-structure interaction. 

IV) Energy Geo-storage (Task leader: Frank Wuttke)

The increasing energy demand, current dependency on fossil fuels, and climate implications have led to an accelerated growth in renewable energy resources. The inherent fluctuating nature of renewable sources will create an unprecedented demand for large-capacity energy storage systems. Energy geo-storage will involve deep large-scale systems (i.e., multi-scale, from building scale to city scale), a large number of cycles (daily fluctuations and long-duration infrastructure), and multi-physics (hydro-thermo-chemo-mechanical processes). Most promising large-scale storages of high energy quantity are related to geo-systems. The research in geo-energy storage systems are urgently needed and has to be enforced in the geotechnical society to prospect the basics, to overcome the limits and problems and to consolidate the opportunities from the geotechnical point of view. The general and in particular the scientific knowledge is still low in that research field, but with the huge economical need the research will significant increase in future.

V) High Level Radioactive Waste Disposal (Task leader: Antonio Gens).

Deep geological disposal is one of most favored solutions for the isolation of high level nuclear waste. It is also the one that requires major geotechnical input. The natural (host rock) and engineered barriers (generally made up of swelling clays) will be subjected to simultaneous thermal, hydraulic and mechanical (THM) phenomena triggered by the heat-emitting nature of the nuclear waste, the swelling character of the unsaturated clay barrier, and the highly confined conditions of the isolation system. The THM processes described above and their mutual interactions will control the evolution and long term response of the whole isolation system; therefore a good understanding of the main THM phenomena are required for a safe design of HLW repositories. The introduction of new types of heterogeneous pellet-based engineered barriers and the migration of designs towards higher temperatures provide fresh challenges to geotechnical engineering in a multi-physics context.

VI) Carbon Dioxide Geological Storage (Task leader: Jean-Michel Pereira)

CO2 capture and geological storage is considered as one of the most promising technologies to CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and thus mitigates greenhouse gases effects on global warming. For efficiency reasons, this fluid has to be injected deep enough (typically below 1000m deep) to reach a supercritical state and in host rocks having good properties in terms of injectivity and available porosity. The scientific issues to be tackled involve, fluids flow problem and reactive transport issues associated with the chemical activity of CO2 in contact with water (studied by mostly geochemists) but the mechanical aspects (e.g. fault reactivation, chemical degradation of the rocks, pressure changes, including drying of rocks, cap rock behavior) cannot be disregarded. This is where the expertise of geotechnical engineers working on geomechanical issues related to chemo-thermo-hydro-mechanical couplings would make a real difference. Our society thus can (and has to) significantly contribute to this field.

VII) Others geotechnical activities related to the energy sector (Task leader: Jayantha Kodikara)

This task force is related to other activities in the energy sector in which geotechnical engineers are involved and not contemplated in the task forces mentioned above, among others: oil sands, foundations of oil pipelines, geotechnical issues related to wind farm and tidal energy, embodied energy of geotechnical infrastructure, geo-mechanical stability of oil reservoir, mid-depth enhanced geothermal systems.

VIII) Fundamentals of Geo-Energy (Task leader: Tomasz Hueckel)

A common theme for the all tasks listed above is that soils and rocks involved in those problems are subjected to strongly coupled THM and chemical (C) interactions. The study of the phenomena associated with the different physics and they mutual interactions will be the main focus of this task force. The interest is on advancing current knowledge on the THMC behavior of soils and rocks integrating fundamental, experimental and numerical studies

Contact Technical Committee : Energy Geotechnics