IMAGE - Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration

Duration: 2014-2017

Funding: EU Project

PI: Oliver Heidbach

PhD Student: Moritz Ziegler

Team and Partner: Arno Zang (GFZ Section 2.6), Gylfi Hersir (ISOR), Jessica Freymark, Leni Scheck-Wenderoth and Judith Sippl (GFZ Section 6.1), Domenico Liotta (UNIBAS, Bari, Italy), John Reinecker (Geo.T Engineering, Karlsruhe, Germany), Mojtaba Rajabi (Univ. Adelaide, Australia)


IMAGE is a project involving 20 partners from 9 different countries. Goal of the project is to develop an integrated geothermal exploration approach based on state-of-the-art scientific methods. Our contribution is to quantify the in-situ stress state across scales ranging from the entirety of Western Europe down to that of a single reservoir. To achieve this we analyse stress data from a wide range of stress indicators and use these to calibrate 3D geomechanical-numerical models that describe continuously the full 3D stress. The key findings of our project contribution are published in three papers of Ziegler et al. (2016a, b; 2017)

Iceland Stress Map 2016 | Map displays the contemporary crustal stress of Iceland (Ziegler et al., 2016c). These new data are fully integrated in the WSM database release 2016 (Heidbach et al., 2016). Lines show the orientation of maximum horizontal stress SHmax from different stress indicators; line length is proportional to data quality. Colours of the symbols and lines indicate the tectonic stress regime with red for normal faulting (NF), green for strike-slip (SS), blue for thrust faulting (TF) and black for unknown (U) tectonic stress regime. The two rose diagrams display the unweighted frequency distribution of the A-C and A-D quality data respectively. Mean SHmax orientations and their standard deviations are calculated with the circular statistics of bi-polar data.

Key References and Project Publications

  • Heidbach, O., Rajabi, M., Reiter, K., Ziegler, M., and Team, WSM Team (2016). World Stress Map Database Release 2016, GFZ Data Services,
  • Ziegler, M., R. Mojtaba, O. Heidbach, G. P. Hersir, K. Ágústsson, S. Árnadóttir, and A. Zang (2016a). The stress pattern of Iceland. Tectonophysics, 674,101-113.
  • Ziegler, M., O. Heidbach, J. Reinecker, A. M. Przybycin, and M. Scheck-Wenderoth (2016b). A multi-stage 3-D stress field modelling approach exemplified in the Bavarian Molasse Basin. Solid Earth, 7,1365-1382.
  • Ziegler, M., Rajabi, M., Hersir, G., Ágústsson, K. Árnadóttir, S. Zang, A., Bruhn, D. and O. Heidbach (2016c). Stress Map Iceland 2016. GFZ Data Services,
  • Ziegler, M., O. Heidbach, A. Zang, P. Martínez-Garzón, and M. Bohnhoff (2017). Estimation of the differential stress from the stress rotation angle in low permeable rock. Geohpys. Res. Lett.,  


PD Dr. Oliver Heidbach

Section 2.6
Seismic Hazard and
Stress Field

Helmholtzstr. 6, Raum 302
T: +49(0)331 288 2814


M.Sc. Moritz Ziegler

Sektion 2.6
Seismic Hazard and
Stress Field

Helmholtzstr. 6, Raum 306
T: +49(0)331 288 28630