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Geothermal Open Laboratory

The research conducted at the Geothermal Open Laboratory is aimed at gaining better understanding of underground heat transfer and flow phenomena for reducing technical risks of geothermal energy. It is an open access laboratory, modeled after open-source software.

The Geothermal Open Laboratory is used to measure the thermal and hydraulic properties of geological materials. The results of the analyses are recorded in a database on the thermal and hydraulic properties of different types of rock available on the Web three years after the analyses.

The Open Geothermal Laboratory is equipped with:

  • An infrared scanner
  • A heat flow meter
  • A combined permeameter and porosimeter
  • Specialized cutting equipment

All this equipment is complementary to the INRS CT scanner and can be used together to combine infrared scanning and X-ray techniques, a first for a geothermal lab.

Independent and collaborative use of the lab’s equipment under the supervision of INRS staff is encouraged. Access to the lab is similar in spirit to open source software.

The instruments are made available to the entire scientific community. Researchers from outside INRS can perform their own analyses free of charge if they are willing to make their findings public three years after using the lab. The findings are recorded in a database made available on Google Sheets to create a public archive on the thermal and hydraulic properties of geological materials. Over time, this database will become a reference tool.

INRS staff can also prepare samples and perform analyses, but in that case, labour costs are charged. Access to the equipment itself is free in exchange for data sharing.

Please contact us for more information on our services.

Accurate characterization of thermal and hydraulic properties is required to develop complex heat transfer models. These mathematical models are used to simulate the operation of geothermal systems, from ground-coupled heat pumps for green buildings to deep reservoirs for power generation.


More specifically, the acquisition of new knowledge at the Open Geothermal Laboratory will be used to:

  • Study environments favourable for both shallow and deep geothermal systems
  • Improve the design of the underground components of geothermal systems
  • Develop more cost-effective geothermal technologies


The study of heat transfer phenomena in Earth sciences and the characterization of the thermal and hydraulic properties of geological materials also find applications in the following areas:

  • Environmental hydrogeology
  • Cold region geotechnics
  • Geodynamics of the Earth

These facilities have been funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Government of Quebec, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec — Nature et technologies (FRQNT). The lab is supported by the Institut nordique du Québec. Work done in the lab is  part of the Canada Reseach Chair on Northern Geothermal Potential.


Research Partner : Institut nordique du Québec


Félix-Antoine Comeau
Laboratory Manager
Phone: 418-654-2652


Jasmin Raymond
Professor and Scientific head
Phone: 418-654-2559


Boutaina El Jai
Partnerships and Research Development Advisor
Phone: 418 654-2531

Open Geothermal Laboratory (LOG)

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 rue de la Couronne 
Québec City, Quebec  G1K 9A9

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LOG Website