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Title: Alum Innovative Exploration Project (Ram Power Inc.)

Data generated from the Alum Innovative Exploration Project, one of several promising geothermal properties located in the middle to upper Miocene (~11-5 Ma, or million years BP) Silver Peak-Lone Mountain metamorphic core complex (SPCC) of the Walker Lane structural belt in Esmeralda County, west-central Nevada. The geothermal system at Alum is wholly concealed; its upper reaches discovered in the late 1970s during a regional thermal-gradient drilling campaign. The prospect boasts several shallow thermal-gradient (TG) boreholes with TG >75oC/km (and as high as 440oC/km) over 200-m intervals in the depth range 0-600 m. Possibly boiling water encountered at 239 m depth in one of these boreholes returned chemical- geothermometry values in the range 150-230oC. GeothermEx (2008) has estimated the electrical- generation capacity of the current Alum leasehold at 33 megawatts for 20 years; and the corresponding value for the broader thermal anomaly extending beyond the property at 73 megawatts for the same duration.
Authors:
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
269
DOE Contract Number:
EE0002845
Product Type:
Dataset
Research Org(s):
DOE Geothermal Data Repository; Ram Power, Inc.
Collaborations:
Ram Power, Inc.
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
Subject:
15 Geothermal Energy; geothermal; Gravity; Magnetics; MT; Geochemistry; Regional Temperature; Resource Model; Well Data; Geology; upper Miocene; Silver Peak; Lone Mountain; Walker Lane; Alum; Esmeralda County; Nevada; Gravity Survey; Grid; Terrain; 5km; 10km; Upward Continued Regional Residual; Bouger; Horizontal Gravity Gradient; North America; Imperial County; Grav-Mag; Magnetic; 3D; Profile; Profiles; Round 1; 2009; Round 2; 2010; magnetotellurics; Inversion; 30 ohm; 100 ohm; 300 ohm; ZTEM; Chemistry; Geothermometry; Temperature; hole 56-29; Historic; Shallow; Well Logs; Modern; Well data; well logs; geologic; geomechanics; geophysical; 25-29; 26-19; report; executive summary; maps; sections; Photos; Photographs; Pictures
OSTI Identifier:
1148793
  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. 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
  2. This shapefile contains location and attribute data for a shallow (2 meter) temperature survey conducted by Geothermal Technical Partners, Inc. during late 2008 and early 2009. Temperatures at 2m depth were measured at 192 separate points as outlined by Coolbaugh et al., 2007. The purposemore » of the survey was to try and detect a shallow thermal anomaly associated with the McGee Mountain geothermal area as discovered by Phillips Petroleum and Earth Power Resources in the late 1970’s. Drilling identified ~120oC temperatures at ~100m depth. This 2-meter survey delineated what was interpreted as a steam-heated fault zone centered along a range front fault in the vicinity of the drilled holes and fumaroles. Coolbaugh, M.F., Sladek, C., Faulds, J.E., Zehner, R.E., and Oppliger, G.L., 2007, Use of rapid temperature measurements at a 2-meter depth to augment deeper temperature gradient drilling: Proceedings, 32nd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Jan. 22-24, 2007, p. 109-116. Zehner, R., Tullar, K., and Rutledge, E., 2012, Effectiveness of 2-Meter and geoprobe shallow temperature surveys in early stage geothermal exploration: Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, v. 36, in press. « less
  3. 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
  4. The Engineered Geothermal System (EGS) Exploration Methodology Project is developing an exploration approach for EGS through the integration of geoscientific data. The overall project area is 2500km2 with the Calibration Area (Dixie Valley Geothermal Wellfield) being about 170km2. The Final Scientific Report (FSR) is submittedmore » in two parts (I and II). 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
  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