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Title: Advanced Geothermal Drilling Technology Demonstration in the Chocolate Mountains CA.


Abstract not provided.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proposed for presentation at the California Geothermal Forum held October 20, 2016 in Sacramento, CA, USA .
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Raymond, David W. Advanced Geothermal Drilling Technology Demonstration in the Chocolate Mountains CA.. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Raymond, David W. Advanced Geothermal Drilling Technology Demonstration in the Chocolate Mountains CA.. United States.
Raymond, David W. Sat . "Advanced Geothermal Drilling Technology Demonstration in the Chocolate Mountains CA.". United States. doi:.
title = {Advanced Geothermal Drilling Technology Demonstration in the Chocolate Mountains CA.},
author = {Raymond, David W.},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Oct 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Sat Oct 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016}

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  • Abstract not provided.
  • The Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary Orocopia Schist (OS) of southeasternmost California consists of metamorphosed continental margin sedimentary and basaltic rocks, overlain by an upper plate of continental crust along the Vincent-Chocolate Mountains fault (VCMF). Previous analysis of late folds and shear band in OS and upper plate in the Gavilan Hills and adjacent ares indicated that the direction of transport of the upper plate was northeastward. This has been considered evidence of a SW dipping subduction zone, along which an outboard continental fragment was sutured to North America. Another view is that the VCMF was formed by underplating of the OSmore » in an Andean continental margin, and that the NE-vergent late structures formed during uplift of the OS. The authors' continuing work in the Gavilan Hills confirm the NE sense of vergence but suggests a more complex structural history. The schist is characterized by refolded folds, shear bands, and two penetrative lineations. An older lineation that ranges from N10[degree]E to N30[degree]E is widespread in the area, but is more evident at low structural levels. A second lineation ranges from N40[degree]E to N70[degree]E and is strongly developed in rocks near the VCMF. The complex folding pattern, presence of mylonitic schist, relative thinness of upper-plate mylonite, and possible retrogressive character of the shear bands suggest that the VCMF in the Gavilan Hills area may have been reactivated after original thrusting. The VCMF in the Gavilan Hills is intermediate in character between the probable subduction thrust in the San Gabriel Mountains and the reactivated faults in the Orocopia Mountains and areas surrounding the Gavilan Hills.« less
  • The Vincent-Chocolate Mountains (VCM) thrust superposes Mesozoic arc plutons and associated Precambrian country rock above subduction-related Pelona-Orocopia schist. The thrust is disrupted in many areas by postmetamorphic deformation, but appears to be intact in the San Gabriel Mountains. Two Rb-Sr mineral-isochron ages from Pelona Schist and mylonite in the San Gabriel Mountains led Ehlig (1981) to conclude that the original thrusting event occurred at c. 60 Ma. However, biotite K-Ar ages determined by Miller and Morton (1980) for upper plate in the same area caused Dillon (1986) to reach a different conclusion. The biotite ages range mainly from 74--60 Mamore » and increase structurally upward from the VCM thrust. Dillon (1986) inferred that the age gradient was due to uplift and cooling of the upper plate during underthrusting of Pelona Schist. This would indicate that the VCM thrust was at least 74 Ma in age. An alternative to the interpretation of Dillon (1986) is that the biotite age gradient largely predates the VCM thrust. Upward heat flow, leading to older ages at higher structural levels, could have resulted from either static cooling of Cretaceous plutons or uplift and erosion induced by crustal thickening during possible west-directed intra-arc thrusting at c. 88--78 Ma (May and Walker, 1989). Subsequent underthrusting of Pelona Schist would establish a cold lower boundary to the crust and cause the closure of isotopic systems in the base of the upper plate. A 60 Ma time of thrusting is also suggested by two amphibole [sup 40]Ar/[sup 39]Ar ages from the Pelona Schist of the San Gabriel Mountains. Peak metamorphic temperature in this area was below 480 C and amphibole ages should thus indicate time of crystallization rather than subsequent cooling. Four phengite [sup 40]Ar/[sup 39]Ar ages of 55--61 Ma from Pelona Schist and mylonite indicate rapid cooling from peak metamorphic temperatures, consistent with subduction refrigeration.« less
  • Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits are routinely used in the oil and gas industry for drilling medium to hard rock but have not been adopted for geothermal drilling, largely due to past reliability issues and higher purchase costs. The Sandia Geothermal Research Department has recently completed a field demonstration of the applicability of advanced synthetic diamond drill bits for production geothermal drilling. Two commercially-available PDC bits were tested in a geothermal drilling program in the Chocolate Mountains in Southern California. These bits drilled the granitic formations with significantly better Rate of Penetration (ROP) and bit life than the roller conemore » bit they are compared with. Drilling records and bit performance data along with associated drilling cost savings are presented herein. The drilling trials have demonstrated PDC bit drilling technology has matured for applicability and improvements to geothermal drilling. This will be especially beneficial for development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems whereby resources can be accessed anywhere within the continental US by drilling to deep, hot resources in hard, basement rock formations.« less