REFLECT has been kicked-off 8 months ago and researchers of the project’s work packages 1 and 2 took this occasion for a first progress meeting on September 14 and 15, 2020. Additionally, the REFLECT coordination team and work package leaders had a first meeting with representatives from the GEOPRO project in order to identify synergies between the two projects and discuss joint activities.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, REFLECT partners decided to restrict the meeting to online gatherings. On September 14, the meeting started with a warm welcome to the partners and an overview of the most important news from the coordinator Simona Regenspurg (GFZ). Researchers from WP 1 presented the progress in the investigations of high-temperature fluids, while WP2 presented the work on high-salinity geothermal brines. Sampling campaigns took already place in Tuzla and Aydin in Turkey, Bad Blumau in Austria, Insheim in Germany, and are planned in the near future in northern Iceland, the Netherlands, and Bouillante. First analyses of those fluids have been completed and show for example interesting microbial spores and fungi in the geothermal waters from Insheim and Bad Blumau. The modification of experimental set-ups for investigations on fluid physics, polymerisation, silica precipitation and degassing kinetics is well underway, despite the fact that most laboratories had to close in spring 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.
The online meeting was cheered up by some virtual socialising, where we learned that, in the past, our scientists have been in contact with all kinds of wild animals, from crocodiles to condors, tarantulas up to being almost strangled by a boa.
On September 15, small groups discussed some finer details of challenges in high-T / high-p experiments, the next sampling campaigns and results of experiments on silica scaling. Afterwards the Executive Board of REFLECT met with a group of scientists from the GEOPRO project. GEOPRO investigates similar topics as REFLECT, but with a stronger focus on thermodynamic processes, while REFLECT includes also a collection of new data from natural brines. Both projects presented their objectives and approaches, discussed synergies and decided to conduct first informal workshops on selected topics.
The next REFLECT meeting will be the general assembly on 27 and 28 January 2021, taking place in Neuchâtel (Switzerland) as a hybrid meeting (live and remote).