The Gas-Water-Rock Interactions Modelling (GWRI) Lab is involved in a number of research activities focused on thermal, hydrogeological and geochemical aspects of Earth-Sciences.
The focus is on a suite of physical and chemical processes occurring in the upper crust that involve mass and energy exchange across atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and anthroposphere interfaces.
In particular, chemical and thermal exchanges (reactions) occurring when water and gases come into contact with solid geological matrices are addressed under different hydraulic regimes, typically under water sub-critical T,P conditions.

Four different types of models are applied: (i) thermal (T), (ii) hydrogeological (H), (iii) geochemical (C), and (iv) reactive transport models (THC).
THC models consider full coupling of thermal, hydrogeological and geochemical features.
Additional, less advanced combinations are possible, included models that consider only the coupling of thermal and hydrogeological processes (TH modeling).

Collaborations with research institutions and industry provide the context for large part of the activities of the laboratory.

Major fields of application include, but are not limited to: geothermal prospection/exploitation, geological storage of greenhouse gases, water quality assessment and preservation.


Both commercial and academic/collaborator license agreements allow the staff of the Laboratory to access a number of comprehensive and updated numerical tools.
A list of most commonly used simulators includes: TOUGH2, PHREEQC, PETRASIM, GWB®, TOUGHREACT.
In-house modified versions of some of these simulators are also employed. 


Dr. Fabrizio Gherardi (CNR Researcher - Head Laboratory)



++39 050 6212316 (Dr. Fabrizio Gherardi)




Fields of application include, but are not limited to:

  • Geothermal prospection/exploitation
  • Investigation of hydrothermal/volcanic systems
  • Geological storage of greenhouse gases
  • Management of hydrocarbon reservoirs
  • Study of diagenetic processes
  • Water quality assessment and preservation
  • Geochemical exploration for mineral resources


The activities of the IGG Numerical Laboratory are funded by:

  • European Union [FP7-ULTimateCO2 (2011-2015); H2020-DESCRAMBLE (2015-2018)]
  • Industry (2007-ongoing)
  • Agencies for the environmental protection (2007-2009)


  • Supercritical fluids behavior in geothermal systems
  • Performance assessment of enhanced geothermal systems
  • Leakage risk assessment in sites for geological storage of greenhouse gases
  • Water quality assessment in aquifers exploited for potable supply


  • Pierotti L., Cortecci G., Gherardi F. (2016). Hydrothermal gases in a shallow aquifer ar Mt.Amiata, Italy: insights from stable isotopes and geochemical modelling. Isotope in Environmental and Health Studies. DOI: 10.1080/10256016.2015.1113958
  • Bellani S., Magro G., Gherardi F. (2015). Heat flow and helium isotopes in the geothermal areas of Tuscany (Central Italy). Transactions - Geothermal Resources Council 39, 399-405.
  • Gherardi F., Droghieri E., Magro G. (2014). Hydrothermal processes at Aluto-Langano (Ethiopia): insights from the stable carbon isotope composition of fluid inclusions. Transactions - Geothermal Resources Council 38, 439-443.
  • Gherardi F., Audigane P. (2013). Modeling geochemical reactions in wellbore cement: assessing pre-injection integrity in a site for CO2 geological storage. Greenhouse Gas Science and Technology 3, 447-474.
  • Gherardi F., Audigane P, Gaucher E.C. (2012). Predicting long-term geochemical alteration of wellbore cement in a generic geological CO2 confinement site: Tackling a difficult reactive transport modeling challenge. Journal of Hydrology 420-421, 340-359.
  • Chiodini G., Caliro S., De Martino P., Avino R., Gherardi F. (2012). Early signals of new volcanic unrest at Campi Flegrei caldera? Insights from geochemical data and physical simulations. Geology 43, 943-946.
  • Gherardi F., Pruess K., Xu T. (2010). Modeling gas-water-rock interactions at Mt. Amiata geothermal field (Italy). Proc. XIII Water-Rock Int. Symp., Guanajuato, Mexico, pp. 859-862.
  • Consonni A., Ronchi P., Geloni C., Battistelli A., Grigo D., Biagi S., Gherardi F., Gianelli G. (2009). Application of numerical modelling to a case of compaction-driven dolomitization: a Jurassic palaeohigh in the Po Plain, Italy. Sedimentology 57, 209-231.
  • Gherardi F., Xu T., Pruess K. (2007). Numerical modeling of self-limiting and self-enhancing caprock alteration induced by CO2 storage in a depleted gas reservoir. Chemical Geology 244, 103-129.