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Title: Microearthquake Studies at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field

The objective of this project is to detect and locate microearthquakes to aid in the characterization of reservoir fracture networks. Accurate identification and mapping of the large numbers of microearthquakes induced in EGS is one technique that provides diagnostic information when determining the location, orientation and length of underground crack systems for use in reservoir development and management applications. Conventional earthquake location techniques often are employed to locate microearthquakes. However, these techniques require labor-intensive picking of individual seismic phase onsets across a network of sensors. For this project we adapt the Matched Field Processing (MFP) technique to the elastic propagation problem in geothermal reservoirs to identify more and smaller events than traditional methods alone.
Authors:
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
250
DOE Contract Number:
AID 19981
Product Type:
Dataset
Research Org(s):
DOE Geothermal Data Repository; Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Collaborations:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Sponsoring Org:
\; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
Subject:
15 Geothermal Energy; geothermal; seismicity; earthquakes; microearthquakes; induced seismicity; fracture; seismology
OSTI Identifier:
1148809
  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. Effective enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) require optimal fracture networks for efficient heat transfer between hot rock and fluid. Microseismic mapping is a key tool used to infer the subsurface fracture geometry. Traditional earthquake detection and location techniques are often employed to identify microearthquakes in geothermalmore » regions. However, most commonly used algorithms may miss events if the seismic signal of an earthquake is small relative to the background noise level or if a microearthquake occurs within the coda of a larger event. Consequently, we have developed a set of algorithms that provide improved microearthquake detection. Our objective is to investigate the microseismicity at the DOE Newberry EGS site to better image the active regions of the underground fracture network during and immediately after the EGS stimulation. Detection of more microearthquakes during EGS stimulations will allow for better seismic delineation of the active regions of the underground fracture system. This improved knowledge of the reservoir network will improve our understanding of subsurface conditions, and allow improvement of the stimulation strategy that will optimize heat extraction and maximize economic return. « less
  2. Effective enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) require optimal fracture networks for efficient heat transfer between hot rock and fluid. Microseismic mapping is a key tool used to infer the subsurface fracture geometry. Traditional earthquake detection and location techniques are often employed to identify microearthquakes in geothermalmore » regions. However, most commonly used algorithms may miss events if the seismic signal of an earthquake is small relative to the background noise level or if a microearthquake occurs within the coda of a larger event. Consequently, we have developed a set of algorithms that provide improved microearthquake detection. Our objective is to investigate the microseismicity at the DOE Newberry EGS site to better image the active regions of the underground fracture network during and immediately after the EGS stimulation. Detection of more microearthquakes during EGS stimulations will allow for better seismic delineation of the active regions of the underground fracture system. This improved knowledge of the reservoir network will improve our understanding of subsurface conditions, and allow improvement of the stimulation strategy that will optimize heat extraction and maximize economic return. « less
  3. 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
  4. Newberry seeks to explore "blind" (no surface evidence) convective hydrothermal systems associated with a young silicic pluton on the flanks of Newberry Volcano. This project will employ a combination of innovative and conventional techniques to identify the location of subsurface geothermal fluids associated with themore » hot pluton. Newberry project drill site location map 2010. Once the exploration mythology is validated, it can be applied throughout the Cascade Range and elsewhere to locate and develop “blind” geothermal resources. « less
  5. Active Management of Integrated Geothermal–CO2 Storage Reservoirs in Sedimentary Formations: An Approach to Improve Energy Recovery and Mitigate Risk: FY1 Final Report The purpose of phase 1 is to determine the feasibility of integrating geologic CO2 storage (GCS) with geothermal energy production. Phase 1 includesmore » reservoir analyses to determine injector/producer well schemes that balance the generation of economically useful flow rates at the producers with the need to manage reservoir overpressure to reduce the risks associated with overpressure, such as induced seismicity and CO2 leakage to overlying aquifers. Based on a range of well schemes, techno-economic analyses of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) are conducted to determine the economic benefits of integrating GCS with geothermal energy production. In addition to considering CO2 injection, reservoir analyses are conducted for nitrogen (N2) injection to investigate the potential benefits of incorporating N2 injection with integrated geothermal-GCS, as well as the use of N2 injection as a potential pressure-support and working-fluid option. Phase 1 includes preliminary environmental risk assessments of integrated geothermal-GCS, with the focus on managing reservoir overpressure. Phase 1 also includes an economic survey of pipeline costs, which will be applied in Phase 2 to the analysis of CO2 conveyance costs for techno-economics analyses of integrated geothermal-GCS reservoir sites. Phase 1 also includes a geospatial GIS survey of potential integrated geothermal-GCS reservoir sites, which will be used in Phase 2 to conduct sweet-spot analyses that determine where promising geothermal resources are co-located in sedimentary settings conducive to safe CO2 storage, as well as being in adequate proximity to large stationary CO2 sources. « less