Meet Anette Kærgaard Mortensen

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Job: 

Geologist and project manager at Landsvirkjun, National Power Company of Iceland.

Job description: 

Evaluating and developing new geothermal prospects and production management of geothermal power plants operated by Landsvirkjun.

Work background: 

I have worked in the geothermal sector in Iceland for 13 years. First I worked for a consulting firm and subsequently for power utility companies, but currently I am working for Landsvirkjun.

Favourite part of job: 

There are many aspects of the job that I like, but first and foremost it is the opportunity to take part in harnessing steam and hot water from geothermal resources through insight into geology, volcanology, engineering and environment.

Least favourite part of job: 

Filling out monthly work reports.

What I am working on now: 

One of the projects that I am currently working on is to modify the reinjection strategy at Krafla Power Plant, NE-Iceland, through evaluation and testing of potential wells for reinjection and outlining sites for drilling new reinjection wells.

A quick story about a job well done: 

Taking part in drilling a successful geothermal well always makes my day.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

It would have to be when we were drilling the IDDP-1 well to explore supercritical conditions at Krafla Volcano in NE-Iceland. The plan was to drill an up to 4.5 km deep well. But at 2.1 km we began to have problems and the drill string repeatedly got stuck. It was first on the third attempt to drill below 2.1 km depth we found out the cause of the problems – we were drilling into magma! Though we did not reach the intended goal of the IDDP-1 well, we gained valuable new knowledge with relevance to volcanology and utilizing geothermal heat. The project gave us the opportunity to try to harness superheated steam close to magma in the future.

Qualifications: 

Geology MSc.

Interests outside work: 

Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and nordic skiing as well as gardening.


Anette Kærgaard Mortensen is a geologist and project manager at Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland. Image: Landsvirkjun.