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Title: Effect of an 860-m thick, cold, freshwater aquifer on geothermal potential along the axis of the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho

Abstract

A 1912-m exploration corehole was drilled along the axis of the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. Two temperature logs run on the corehole display an obvious inflection point at about 960 m. Such behavior is indicative of downward fluid flow in the wellbore. The geothermal gradient above 935 m is 4.5 °C/km, while the gradient is 72–75 °C/km from 980 to 1440 m. Projecting the higher gradients upward to where they intersect the lower gradient on the temperature logs places the bottom of the cold, freshwater Snake River Plain aquifer, which suppresses the geothermal gradient at this location, at least 860 m below the surface. The average heat flow for the corehole between 983 and 1550 m is 132 mW/m 2. Although the maximum bottom-hole temperature extrapolated from a measured time–temperature curve was only 59.3 °C, geothermometers suggest an equilibrium temperature on the order of 125–140 °C based on a single fluid sample from 1070 m. Furthermore, below 960 m the basalt core shows obvious signs of alteration, including a distinct color change, the formation of smectite clay, and the presence of secondary minerals filling vesicles and fracture zones. This alteration boundary could act as an effective cap or sealmore » for a hot-water geothermal system.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1413551
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1511041
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0002848; EE0006733
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Geothermal Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Geothermal Energy Journal Volume: 5 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2195-9706
Publisher:
Springer Science + Business Media
Country of Publication:
Germany
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; Corehole; Temperature log; Geothermometers; Basalt; X-ray diffraction

Citation Formats

Lachmar, Thomas E., Freeman, Thomas G., Sant, Christopher J., Walker, Jeffrey R., Batir, Joseph F., Shervais, John W., Evans, James P., Nielson, Dennis L., and Blackwell, David D. Effect of an 860-m thick, cold, freshwater aquifer on geothermal potential along the axis of the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. Germany: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1186/s40517-017-0086-8.
Lachmar, Thomas E., Freeman, Thomas G., Sant, Christopher J., Walker, Jeffrey R., Batir, Joseph F., Shervais, John W., Evans, James P., Nielson, Dennis L., & Blackwell, David D. Effect of an 860-m thick, cold, freshwater aquifer on geothermal potential along the axis of the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. Germany. doi:10.1186/s40517-017-0086-8.
Lachmar, Thomas E., Freeman, Thomas G., Sant, Christopher J., Walker, Jeffrey R., Batir, Joseph F., Shervais, John W., Evans, James P., Nielson, Dennis L., and Blackwell, David D. Fri . "Effect of an 860-m thick, cold, freshwater aquifer on geothermal potential along the axis of the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho". Germany. doi:10.1186/s40517-017-0086-8.
@article{osti_1413551,
title = {Effect of an 860-m thick, cold, freshwater aquifer on geothermal potential along the axis of the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho},
author = {Lachmar, Thomas E. and Freeman, Thomas G. and Sant, Christopher J. and Walker, Jeffrey R. and Batir, Joseph F. and Shervais, John W. and Evans, James P. and Nielson, Dennis L. and Blackwell, David D.},
abstractNote = {A 1912-m exploration corehole was drilled along the axis of the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. Two temperature logs run on the corehole display an obvious inflection point at about 960 m. Such behavior is indicative of downward fluid flow in the wellbore. The geothermal gradient above 935 m is 4.5 °C/km, while the gradient is 72–75 °C/km from 980 to 1440 m. Projecting the higher gradients upward to where they intersect the lower gradient on the temperature logs places the bottom of the cold, freshwater Snake River Plain aquifer, which suppresses the geothermal gradient at this location, at least 860 m below the surface. The average heat flow for the corehole between 983 and 1550 m is 132 mW/m2. Although the maximum bottom-hole temperature extrapolated from a measured time–temperature curve was only 59.3 °C, geothermometers suggest an equilibrium temperature on the order of 125–140 °C based on a single fluid sample from 1070 m. Furthermore, below 960 m the basalt core shows obvious signs of alteration, including a distinct color change, the formation of smectite clay, and the presence of secondary minerals filling vesicles and fracture zones. This alteration boundary could act as an effective cap or seal for a hot-water geothermal system.},
doi = {10.1186/s40517-017-0086-8},
journal = {Geothermal Energy},
number = 1,
volume = 5,
place = {Germany},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1186/s40517-017-0086-8

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Cited by: 1 work
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