Pluymakers, A.M.H.


Assistant Professor Experimental Fluid-Rock Interaction at CiTG TU Delft (current)

Postdoctoral Researcher Experimental Rock Mechanics at CiTG TU Delft (2018 - 2020)

Postdoctoral Researcher Fluid-Rock interactions at University of Oslo (2015 - 2017)

BSc, MSc and PhD at Utrecht University (2005 - 2014)

Thesis title: 'Frictional and sealing behavior of simulated anhydrite fault gouge - Effects of CO2 and implications for fault stability and caprock integrity'. 


My research is in experimental rock mechanics and associated 2D and 3D microstructural analysis, with a strong focus on thermo-hydro-mechano-chemical (THMC) fluid-rock interaction. How do mechanical and transport properties of rocks change by the presence and type of fluid at realistic in-situ conditions? Or in other words: how, when and why do rocks break, and what is the effect of the fluids nearby? 

  • Pluymakers, A., Ougier-Simonin, Barnhoorn, 2021. Ion-species in pore fluids with opposite effects on limestone fracturing, Geomech. for Energy and Environ. 26, 100233
  • Pluymakers, A., Spiers, C., 2015. Compaction creep of simulated anhydrite fault gouge by pressure solution: Theory vs. experiments and implications for fault sealing. Geol. Soc. London, Spec. Publ. 409, 107–124
  • Rohmer, J., Pluymakers, A., Renard, F., 2016, Mechano-chemical interactions in sedimentary rocks in the context of CO2 storage: Weak acid, weak effects? Earth-Science Reviews 157, 86-110
  • Pluymakers, A., Samuelson, J., Niemeijer, A.,Spiers, C., 2014. Effects of temperature and CO2 on the frictional behavior of simulated anhydrite fault rock. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 119, 8728–8747
  • Pluymakers, A., Peach, C., Spiers, C., 2014. Diagenetic compaction experiments on simulated anhydrite fault  gouge under static conditions. J. Geophys. Res. B5, 4123–4148
  • Pluymakers, A.; Kobchenko, M.; Renard, F., 2017, ‘How microfracture roughness can be used to distinguish between exhumed cracks and in-situ flow paths in shales’, J. Struct. Geol. 94, 87-97

Current projects as project lead

Minimizing induced seismicity in fractuzred geothermal reservoirs
I am the projectlead in this NWO-OTP-funded project, which aims to explain where and why seismicity will occur in fractured geothermal systems. We want to gain insight into the complex interactions between the processes inducing stress changes on faults above, in, and below a fractured carbonate reservoir and the subsequent reactivation of these faults. The outcomes of the work will be compared to the pilot project data, and to create physics-based recommendations for geothermal operators. We hired two PhD students, Entela Kane (co-supervised by dr. Niemeijer at Utrecht University), and Ilshat Saifullin. Our user committee consists out of the KNMI, VITO, Erdwerk and GeothermieNL.

CEMENTEGRITY: performance of wellbore cement under cyclic thermal stresses
I am the national lead in the ACT-funded project CEMENTEGRITY, a Norway-UK-the Netherlands collaboration looking into the development and performance of wellbore cements suitable for subsurface CO2 storage. At TU Delft, there is a workpackage at the Microlab (WP-lead: dr. Guang Ye) numerically investigating the mechano-chemical evolution of newly developed cements, with one postdoctoral researcher involved. I work together with postdoc Kai Li, to investigate the behaviour of two existing cement types, two recently developed cement types and one new cement type when they are exposed to thermal stress. It revolves around the question if they will develop leakage pathways. Industrial project partners are IFE, Energie Beheer Nederland, Halliburton, ReStone, and Wintershall DEA. University partners are the University of Stavanger and Heriot-Watt University.
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REFLECT Consortium: physics of degassing geothermal fluids
I am a WP-leader in the REFLECT Consortium (H2020, PI: Simona Regenspurg), which will redefine geothermal fluid properties at extreme conditions to optimize future geothermal energy extraction. At TU Delft we will focus on the degassing of hot and saline fluids. It runs 2020-2023. Chris Boeije is involved as a post-doctoral researcher. The consortium consists out of research institutes and universities.
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Past projects as project lead

Effect of pore fluid chemistry on carbonate failure behaviour
Between 2018-2021, this project is funded by NWO through a VENI grant, with title 'Taking fluid-rock interactions forward: the role of realistic pore fluid chemistry on rock deformation'. This project works towards a better understanding of the role of fluid chemistry on the mechanical and transport properties of rocks, since the use of the subsurface (hydrocarbon production, geothermal heat extraction, CO2 or wastewater injection) affects the pore fluid chemistry. Between 2020-2022 Jon Kortram was involved as a researcher, funded by TU Delft.

ARGUS project: building up knowledge to using neutron tomography for flow through rocks
I am part of the ARGUS collaboration (funded by the Norwegian Research Council, PI: Francois Renard) between Norway, France, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK, with only academic partners. This project aims to develop time-resolved X-ray and neutron imaging applications to unravel geological processes related to flow in rocks. It runs 2018-2020, with a continuing informal collaboration on X-ray and neutron tomography.
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  • 2023-2025: science officer for the EGU Tectonics and Structural Geology Division
  • Board member of the KNGMG, portfolio: diversity and academia
  • Twittering about rock mechanics lab activities (together with Auke Barnhoorn) under @RockDefTUD
  • Editor of the EGU Tectonics and Structural Geology blog
  • Contribution ‘Assessing risks posed by faults’ to popular science publication ‘Linking the Chain’ (Ed. Rolf de Vos), disseminating the results of the CATO2 CO2 research program, 2014

Anne Pluymakers

Assistant Professor

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