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Title: Preliminary geologic map of the Wabuska quadrangle, Lyon County, Nevada - Wabuska Geothermal Area

Geologic map of the Wabuska Geothermal Area
Authors:
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
396
DOE Contract Number:
EE0002748
Product Type:
Dataset
Research Org(s):
DOE Geothermal Data Repository; University of Nevada Reno
Collaborations:
University of Nevada Reno
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
Subject:
15 Geothermal Energy; geothermal; Wabuska Geothermal Area; geologic map; Nevada; Basin and Range; Great Basin; Wabuska Quadrangle; Lyon County
OSTI Identifier:
1136710
  1. The Geothermal Data Repository (GDR) is the submission point for all data collected from researchers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office (DOE GTO). The DOE GTO is providing access to its geothermal project information through the GDR. The GDR is powered by OpenEI, an energy information portal sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
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  1. The US Geological Survey (USGS) resource assessment (Williams et al., 2009) outlined a mean 30GWe of undiscovered hydrothermal resource in the western US. One goal of the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) is to accelerate the development of this undiscovered resource. The Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP)more » Blue Ribbon Panel (GTO, 2011) recommended that DOE focus efforts on helping industry identify hidden geothermal resources to increase geothermal capacity in the near term. Increased exploration activity will produce more prospects, more discoveries, and more readily developable resources. Detailed exploration case studies akin to those found in oil and gas (e.g. Beaumont, et al, 1990) will give operators a single point of information to gather clean, unbiased information on which to build geothermal drilling prospects. To support this effort, the National Renewable Energy laboratory (NREL) has been working with the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a template for geothermal case studies on the Geothermal Gateway on OpenEI. In fiscal year 2013, the template was developed and tested with two case studies: Raft River Geothermal Area (http://en.openei.org/wiki/Raft_River_Geothermal_Area) and Coso Geothermal Area (http://en.openei.org/wiki/Coso_Geothermal_Area). In fiscal year 2014, ten additional case studies were completed, and additional features were added to the template to allow for more data and the direct citations of data. The template allows for: Data - a variety of data can be collected for each area, including power production information, well field information, geologic information, reservoir information, and geochemistry information. Narratives ? general (e.g. area overview, history and infrastructure), technical (e.g. exploration history, well field description, R&D activities) and geologic narratives (e.g. area geology, hydrothermal system, heat source, geochemistry.) Exploration Activity Catalog - catalog of exploration activities conducted in the area (with dates and references.) NEPA Analysis ? a query of NEPA analyses conducted in the area (that have been catalogued in the OpenEI NEPA database.) In fiscal year 2015, NREL is working with universities to populate additional case studies on OpenEI. The goal is to provide a large enough dataset to start conducting analyses of exploration programs to identify correlations between successful exploration plans for areas with similar geologic occurrence models. « less
  2. The Engineered Geothermal System (EGS) Exploration Methodology Project is developing an exploration approach for EGS through the integration of geoscientific data. The Project chose the Dixie Valley Geothermal System in Nevada as a field laboratory site for methodology calibration purposes because, in the public domain,more » it is a highly characterized geothermal system in the Basin and Range with a considerable amount of geoscience and most importantly, well data. The overall project area is 2500km2 with the Calibration Area (Dixie Valley Geothermal Wellfield) being about 170km2. The project was subdivided into five tasks (1) collect and assess the existing public domain geoscience data; (2) design and populate a GIS database; (3) develop a baseline (existing data) geothermal conceptual model, evaluate geostatistical relationships, and generate baseline, coupled EGS favorability/trust maps from +1km above sea level (asl) to -4km asl for the Calibration Area at 0.5km intervals to identify EGS drilling targets at a scale of 5km x 5km; (4) collect new geophysical and geochemical data, and (5) repeat Task 3 for the enhanced (baseline + new ) data. Favorability maps were based on the integrated assessment of the three critical EGS exploration parameters of interest: rock type, temperature and stress. A complimentary trust map was generated to compliment the favorability maps to graphically illustrate the cumulative confidence in the data used in the favorability mapping. The Final Scientific Report (FSR) is submitted in two parts with Part I describing the results of project Tasks 1 through 3 and Part II covering the results of project Tasks 4 through 5 plus answering nine questions posed in the proposal for the overall project. FSR Part I presents (1) an assessment of the readily available public domain data and some proprietary data provided by Terra-Gen Power, LLC, (2) a re-interpretation of these data as required, (3) an exploratory geostatistical data analysis, (4) the baseline geothermal conceptual model, and (5) the EGS favorability/trust mapping. The conceptual model presented applies to both the hydrothermal system and EGS in the Dixie Valley region. FSR Part II presents (1) 278 new gravity stations; (2) enhanced gravity-magnetic modeling; (3) 42 new ambient seismic noise survey stations; (4) an integration of the new seismic noise data with a regional seismic network; (5) a new methodology and approach to interpret this data; (5) a novel method to predict rock type and temperature based on the newly interpreted data; (6) 70 new magnetotelluric (MT) stations; (7) an integrated interpretation of the enhanced MT data set; (8) the results of a 308 station soil CO2 gas survey; (9) new conductive thermal modeling in the project area; (10) new convective modeling in the Calibration Area; (11) pseudo-convective modeling in the Calibration Area; (12) enhanced data implications and qualitative geoscience correlations at three scales (a) Regional, (b) Project, and (c) Calibration Area; (13) quantitative geostatistical exploratory data analysis; and (14) responses to nine questions posed in the proposal for this investigation. Enhanced favorability/trust maps were not generated because there was not a sufficient amount of new, fully-vetted (see below) rock type, temperature, and stress data. The enhanced seismic data did generate a new method to infer rock type and temperature. However, in the opinion of the Principal Investigator for this project, this new methodology needs to be tested and evaluated at other sites in the Basin and Range before it is used to generate the referenced maps. As in the baseline conceptual model, the enhanced findings can be applied to both the hydrothermal system and EGS in the Dixie Valley region. « less
  3. Data generated from the Silver Peak Innovative Exploration Project, in Esmeralda County, Nevada, encompasses a “deep-circulation (amagmatic)” meteoric-geothermal system circulating beneath basin-fill sediments locally blanketed with travertine in western Clayton Valley (lithium-rich brines from which have been mined for several decades). Spring- and shallow-borehole thermal-watermore » geochemistry and geothermometry suggest that a Silver Peak geothermal reservoir is very likely to attain the temperature range 260- 300oF (~125-150oC), and may reach 300-340oF (~150-170oC) or higher (GeothermEx, Inc., 2006). Results of detailed geologic mapping, structural analysis, and conceptual modeling of the prospect (1) support the GeothermEx (op. cit.) assertion that the Silver Peak prospect has good potential for geothermal-power production; and (2) provide a theoretical geologic framework for further exploration and development of the resource. The Silver Peak prospect is situated in the transtensional (regional shearing coupled with extension) Walker Lane structural belt, and squarely within the late Miocene to Pliocene (11 Ma to ~5 Ma) Silver Peak-Lone Mountain metamorphic core complex (SPCC), a feature that accommodated initial displacement transfer between major right-lateral strike- slip fault zones on opposite sides of the Walker Lane. The SPCC consists essentially of a ductiley-deformed lower plate, or “core,” of Proterozoic metamorphic tectonites and tectonized Mesozoic granitoids separated by a regionally extensive, low-angle detachment fault from an upper plate of severely stretched and fractured structural slices of brittle, Proterozoic to Miocene-age lithologies. From a geothermal perspective, the detachment fault itself and some of the upper-plate structural sheets could function as important, if secondary, subhorizontal thermal-fluid aquifers in a Silver Peak hydrothermal system. « less
  4. Over the course of the entire project, field visits were made to 117 geothermal systems in the Great Basin region. Major field excursions, incorporating visits to large groups of systems, were conducted in western Nevada, central Nevada, northwestern Nevada, northeastern Nevada, east‐central Nevada, eastern California,more » southern Oregon, and western Utah. For example, field excursions to the following areas included visits of multiple geothermal systems: - Northwestern Nevada: Baltazor Hot Spring, Blue Mountain, Bog Hot Spring, Dyke Hot Springs, Howard Hot Spring, MacFarlane Hot Spring, McGee Mountain, and Pinto Hot Springs in northwest Nevada. - North‐central to northeastern Nevada: Beowawe, Crescent Valley (Hot Springs Point), Dann Ranch (Hand‐me‐Down Hot Springs), Golconda, and Pumpernickel Valley (Tipton Hot Springs) in north‐central to northeast Nevada. - Eastern Nevada: Ash Springs, Chimney Hot Spring, Duckwater, Hiko Hot Spring, Hot Creek Butte, Iverson Spring, Moon River Hot Spring, Moorman Spring, Railroad Valley, and Williams Hot Spring in eastern Nevada. - Southwestern Nevada‐eastern California: Walley’s Hot Spring, Antelope Valley, Fales Hot Springs, Buckeye Hot Springs, Travertine Hot Springs, Teels Marsh, Rhodes Marsh, Columbus Marsh, Alum‐Silver Peak, Fish Lake Valley, Gabbs Valley, Wild Rose, Rawhide‐ Wedell Hot Springs, Alkali Hot Springs, and Baileys/Hicks/Burrell Hot Springs. - Southern Oregon: Alvord Hot Spring, Antelope Hot Spring‐Hart Mountain, Borax Lake, Crump Geyser, and Mickey Hot Spring in southern Oregon. - Western Utah: Newcastle, Veyo Hot Spring, Dixie Hot Spring, Thermo, Roosevelt, Cove Fort, Red Hill Hot Spring, Joseph Hot Spring, Hatton Hot Spring, and Abraham‐Baker Hot Springs. Structural controls of 426 geothermal systems were analyzed with literature research, air photos, google‐Earth imagery, and/or field reviews (Figures 1 and 2). Of the systems analyzed, we were able to determine the structural settings of more than 240 sites. However, we found that many “systems” consisted of little more than a warm or hot well in the central part of a basin. Such “systems” were difficult to evaluate in terms of structural setting in areas lacking in geophysical data. Developed database for structural catalogue in a master spreadsheet. Data components include structural setting, primary fault orientation, presence or absence of Quaternary faulting, reservoir lithology, geothermometry, presence or absence of recent magmatism, and distinguishing blind systems from those that have surface expressions. Reviewed site locations for all 426 geothermal systems– Confirmed and/or relocated spring and geothermal sites based on imagery, maps, and other information for master database. Many systems were mislocated in the original database. In addition, some systems that included several separate springs spread over large areas were divided into two or more distinct systems. Further, all hot wells were assigned names based on their location to facilitate subsequent analyses. We catalogued systems into the following eight major groups, based on the dominant pattern of faulting (Figure 1): - Major normal fault segments (i.e., near displacement maxima). - Fault bends. - Fault terminations or tips. - Step‐overs or relay ramps in normal faults. - Fault intersections. - Accommodation zones (i.e., belts of intermeshing oppositely dipping normal faults), - Displacement transfer zones whereby strike‐slip faults terminate in arrays of normal faults. - Transtensional pull‐aparts. These settings form a hierarchal pattern with respect to fault complexity. - Major normal faults and fault bends are the simplest. - Fault terminations are typically more complex than mid‐segments, as faults commonly break up into multiple strands or horsetail near their ends. - A fault intersection is generally more complex, as it generally contains both multiple fault strands and can include discrete di... « less
  5. The Engineered Geothermal System (EGS) Exploration Methodology Project is developing an exploration approach for EGS through the integration of geoscientific data. The Project chose the Dixie Valley Geothermal System in Nevada as a field laboratory site for methodlogy calibration purposes because, in the public domain,more » it is a highly characterized geothermal systems in the Basin and Range with a considerable amount of geoscience and most importantly, well data. This Baseline Conceptual Model report summarizes the results of the first three project tasks (1) collect and assess the existing public domain geoscience data, (2) design and populate a GIS database, and (3) develop a baseline (existing data) geothermal conceptual model, evaluate geostatistical relationships, and generate baseline, coupled EGS favorability/trust maps from +1km above sea level (asl) to -4km asl for the Calibration Area (Dixie Valley Geothermal Wellfield) to identify EGS drilling targets at a scale of 5km x 5km. It presents (1) an assessment of the readily available public domain data and some proprietary data provided by Terra-Gen Power, LLC, (2) a re-interpretation of these data as required, (3) an exploratory geostatistical data analysis, (4) the baseline geothermal conceptual model, and (5) the EGS favorability/trust mapping. The conceptual model presented applies to both the hydrothermal system and EGS in the Dixie Valley region. « less