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Title: New River Geothermal Exploration (Ram Power Inc.)

The New River Geothermal Exploration (DOE Award No. EE0002843) is located approximately 25km south of the Salton Sea, near town of Brawley in Imperial County and approximately 150km east of San Diego, California. A total of 182 MT Logger sites were completed covering the two separate Mesquite and New River grids. The data was collected over a frequency range of 320Hz to 0.001Hz with variable site spacing. A number of different inversion algorithms in 1D, 2D and 3D were used to produce resistivity-depth profiles and maps of subsurface resistivity variations over the survey area. For 2D inversions, a total of eighteen lines were constructed in east-west and north-south orientations crossing the entire survey area. For MT 3D inversion, the New River property was divided in two sub-grids, Mesquite and New River areas. The report comprises of two parts. For the first part, inversions and geophysical interpretation results are presented with some recommendations of the potential targets for future follow up on the property. The second part of the report describes logistics of the survey, survey parameters, methodology and the survey results (data) in digital documents. The report reviews a Spartan MT survey carried out by Quantec Geoscience Limited over themore » New River Project in California, USA on behalf of Ram Power Inc. Data was acquired over a period of 29 days from 2010/06/26 to 2010/07/24. « less
Authors:
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
266
DOE Contract Number:
EE0002843
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; Magnetotelluric Survey; MT Survey; Resistivity; Mesquite; New River; North America; Imperial County; Electronic Data Exchange; EDI; Spacial Model; Spacial Modeling; SDM; Seismic Reflection Survey; Faults; Brawley; California; report; Site Names; Daily Survey Notes; Parallel Sensor Test; Spatial Modeling; Survey Files; 1D; Depth Profiles; Resistivity Models; 2D; 3D; Depth Plan Maps; Maps; GeoSoft; Geophysical Modeling Tools; Geotools; GoCad; software; Appendix; Vibration monitoring; Survey Notes
OSTI Identifier:
1148796
  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 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
  2. A detailed gravity survey was carried out for the entire Carson Sink in western Nevada (Figure 1) through a subcontract to Zonge Engineering, Inc. The Carson Sink is a large composite basin containing three known, blind high-temperature geothermal systems (Fallon Airbase, Stillwater, and Soda Lake).more » This area was chosen for a detailed gravity survey in order to characterize the gravity signature of the known geothermal systems and to identify other potential blind systems based on the structural setting indicated by the gravity data. Data: Data were acquired at approximately 400, 800, and 1600 meter intervals for a total of 1,243 stations. The project location and station location points are presented in Figure 14. The station distribution for this survey was designed to complete regional gravity coverage in the Carson Sink area without duplication of available public and private gravity coverage. Gravity data were acquired using a Scintrex CG-5 gravimeter and a LaCoste and Romberg (L&R) Model-G gravimeter. The CG-5 gravity meter has a reading resolution of 0.001 milligals and a typical repeatability of less than 0.005 milligals. The L&R gravity meter has a reading resolution of 0.01 milligals and a typical repeatability of 0.02 milligals. The basic processing of gravimeter readings to calculate through to the Complete Bouguer Anomaly was made using the Gravity and Terrain Correction software version 7.1 for Oasis Montaj by Geosoft LTD. Results: The gravity survey of the Carson Sink yielded the following products. Project location and station location map (Figure 14). Complete Bouguer Anomaly @ 2.67 gm/cc reduction density. Gravity Complete Bouguer Anomaly at 2.50 g/cc Contour Map (Figure 15). Gravity Horizontal Gradient Magnitude Shaded Color Contour Map. Gravity 1st Vertical Derivative Color Contour Map. Interpreted Depth to Mesozoic Basement (Figure 16), incorporating drill-hole intercept values. Preliminary Interpretation of Results: The Carson Sink is a complex composite basin with several major depocenters (Figures 15 and 16). Major depocenters are present in the south-central, east-central, and northeastern parts of the basin. The distribution of gravity anomalies suggests a complex pattern of faulting in the subsurface of the basin, with many fault terminations, step-overs, and accommodation zones. The pattern of faulting implies that other, previously undiscovered blind geothermal systems are likely in the Carson Sink. The gravity survey was completed near the end of this project. Thus, more thorough analysis of the data and potential locations of blind geothermal systems is planned for future work. « less
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Slip and Dilation Tendency in focus areas Critically stressed fault segments have a relatively high likelihood of acting as fluid flow conduits (Sibson, 1994). As such, the tendency of a fault segment to slip (slip tendency; Ts; Morris et al., 1996) or to dilate (dilationmore » tendency; Td; Ferrill et al., 1999) provides an indication of which faults or fault segments within a geothermal system are critically stressed and therefore likely to transmit geothermal fluids. The slip tendency of a surface is defined by the ratio of shear stress to normal stress on that surface: Ts = τ / σn (Morris et al., 1996). Dilation tendency is defined by the stress acting normal to a given surface: Td = (σ1-σn) / (σ1-σ3) (Ferrill et al., 1999). Slip and dilation were calculated using 3DStress (Southwest Research Institute). Slip and dilation tendency are both unitless ratios of the resolved stresses applied to the fault plane by ambient stress conditions. Values range from a maximum of 1, a fault plane ideally oriented to slip or dilate under ambient stress conditions to zero, a fault plane with no potential to slip or dilate. Slip and dilation tendency values were calculated for each fault in the focus study areas at, McGinness Hills, Neal Hot Springs, Patua, Salt Wells, San Emidio, and Tuscarora on fault traces. As dip is not well constrained or unknown for many faults mapped in within these we made these calculations using the dip for each fault that would yield the maximum slip tendency or dilation tendency. As such, these results should be viewed as maximum tendency of each fault to slip or dilate. The resulting along-fault and fault-to-fault variation in slip or dilation potential is a proxy for along fault and fault-to-fault variation in fluid flow conduit potential. Stress Magnitudes and directions Stress field variation within each focus area was approximated based on regional published data and the world stress database (Hickman et al., 2000; Hickman et al., 1998 Robertson-Tait et al., 2004; Hickman and Davatzes, 2010; Davatzes and Hickman, 2006; Blake and Davatzes 2011; Blake and Davatzes, 2012; Moeck et al., 2010; Moos and Ronne, 2010 and Reinecker et al., 2005) as well as local stress information if applicable. For faults within these focus systems we applied either a normal faulting stress regime where the vertical stress (sv) is larger than the maximum horizontal stress (shmax) which is larger than the minimum horizontal stress (sv>shmax>shmin) or strike-slip faulting stress regime where the maximum horizontal stress (shmax) is larger than the vertical stress (sv) which is larger than the minimum horizontal stress (shmax >sv>shmin) depending on the general tectonic province of the system. Based on visual inspection of the limited stress magnitude data in the Great Basin we used magnitudes such that shmin/shmax = .527 and shmin/sv= .46, which are consistent with complete and partial stress field determinations from Desert Peak, Coso, the Fallon area and Dixie valley (Hickman et al., 2000; Hickman et al., 1998 Robertson-Tait et al., 2004; Hickman and Davatzes, 2011; Davatzes and Hickman, 2006; Blake and Davatzes 2011; Blake and Davatzes, 2012). Based on inversion of fault kinematic data, Edwards (2013) interpreted that two discrete stress orientations are preserved at Neal Hot Springs. An older episode of east-west directed extension and a younger episode of southwest-northeast directed sinistral, oblique -normal extension. This interpretation is consistent with the evolution of Cenozoic tectonics in the region (Edwards, 2013). As such we applied a southwest-northeast (060) directed normal faulting stress regime, consistent with the younger extensional episode, to the Neal Hot Springs faults. Under these stress conditions northeast striking steeply dipping fault segments have the highest tendency to dilate and northeast striking 60° dipping fault segments have the highest tendency to slip. Under these stress condition... « less