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  1. We analyze interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data acquired between 2004 and 2014, by the ERS-2, Envisat, ALOS and TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X satellite missions to measure and characterize time-dependent deformation at the Brady Hot Springs geothermal field in western Nevada due to extraction of fluids. The long axis of the ~4 km by ~1.5 km elliptical subsiding area coincides with the strike of the dominant normal fault system at Brady. Within this bowl of subsidence, the interference pattern shows several smaller features with length scales of the order of ~1 km. This signature occurs consistently in all of the well-correlated interferometric pairsmore » spanning several months. Results from inverse modeling suggest that the deformation is a result of volumetric contraction in shallow units, no deeper than 600 m, likely associated with damaged regions where fault segments mechanically interact. Such damaged zones are expected to extend downward along steeply dipping fault planes, providing a high permeability conduit to the production wells. Using time series analysis, we test the hypothesis that geothermal production drives the observed deformation. We find a good correlation between the observed deformation rate and the rate of production in the shallow wells. We also explore mechanisms that could potentially cause the observed deformation, including thermal contraction of rock, decline in pore pressure and dissolution of minerals over time.« less
  2. This paper presents an overview of the work our collaboration is doing to increase the detailed mapped resource base for geothermal exploration in the Western US. We are imaging several large areas in the western US with high resolution airborne hyperspectral and satellite multispectral sensors. We have now entered the phase where the remote sensing techniques and tools we are developing are mature enough to be combined with other geothermal exploration techniques such as aeromagnetic, seismic, well logging and coring data. The imaging sensors and analysis techniques we have developed have the ability to map visible faults, surface effluents, alteredmore » minerals, subtle hidden faults. Large regions are being imaged at reasonable costs. The technique of geobotanical remote sensing for geothermal signatures is based on recent successes in mapping hidden faults, high temperature altered mineralization, clays, hot and cold springs and CO2 effluents the Long Valley Caldera and Mammoth Mountain in California. The areas that have been imaged include Mammoth Mountain and the Long Valley Caldera, Dixie Meadows NV, Fish Lake Valley NV, and Brady Hot Springs. Areas that are being imaged in the summer of 2003 are the south moat of the Long Valley Caldera, Mammoth Mountain western Pickles, Nash, Kasameyer, Foxall, Martini, Cocks, Kennedy-Bowdoin, McKnight, Silver, Potts, flanks, Mono Inyo chain north of Mammoth Mountain in CA, and the Humboldt Block in NV. This paper focuses on presenting the overview of the high-resolution airborne hyperspectral image acquisition that was done at Dixie Meadows NV in August 2002. This new imagery is currently being analyzed and combined with other field data by all of the authors on this paper. Results of their work up until the time of the conference will be presented in papers in the remote sensing session.« less
  3. The issues of the geothermal resource at Brady's Hot Springs are dealt with: the prospective supply of feedstocks to the ethanol plant, the markets for the spent grain by-products of the plant, the storage, handling and transshipment requirements for the feedstocks and by-products from a rail siding facility at Fernley, the probable market for fuel ethanol in the region, and an assessment of the economic viability of the entire undertaking.
  4. An investigation was performed to determine the technical and economic viability of constructing and operating a geothermally heated, biomass, motor fuel alcohol plant at Brady's Hot Springs. The results of the study are positive, showing that a plant of innovative, yet proven design can be built to adapt current commerical fermentation-distillation technology to the application of geothermal heat energy. The specific method of heat production from the Brady's Hot Spring wells has been successful for some time at an onion drying plant. Further development of the geothermal resource to add the capacity needed for an ethanol plant is found tomore » be feasible for a plant sized to produce 10 million gallons of motor fuel grade ethanol per year. A very adequate supply of feedgrains is found to be available for use in the plant without impact on the local or regional feedgrain market. The effect of diverting supplies from the animal feedlots in Northern Nevada and California will be mitigated by the by-product output of high-protein feed supplements that the plant will produce. The plant will have a favorable impact on the local farming economies of Fallon, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Elko, Nevada. It will make a positive and significant socioeconomic contribution to Churchill County, providing direct employment for an additional 61 persons. Environmental impact will be negligible, involving mostly a moderate increase in local truck traffic and railroad siding activity. The report is presented in two volumes. Volume 1 deals with the technical design aspects of the plant. The second volume addresses the issue of expanded geothermal heat production at Brady's Hot Springs, goes into the details of feedstock supply economics, and looks at the markets for the plant's primary ethanol product, and the markets for its feed supplement by-products. The report concludes with an analysis of the economic viability of the proposed project.« less
  5. Brady's Hot Springs is a hydrothermal area located approximately 28Km northeast of Fernley, Nevada. Surface manifestations of geothermal activity occur along a north-northeast trend fault zone (herein referred to as the Brady Thermal Fault) at the eastern margin of Hot Springs Flat, a small basin. Since September, 1959, Magma Power Company, its subsidiaries, and Union Oil Company (as Earth Energy Company) have drilled numerous wells in the area. In 1977 Magma's 160 acre lease in Section 12 was assigned to Geothermal Food Processors (GFP) for the purpose of providing heat from the wells on this acreage for the dehydration ofmore » food. GFP made application to the Geothermal Loan Guarantee Program (GLGP) for assistance in financing the effort, and consequently the GLGP office turned to the USGS for a resource evaluation. The USGS in turn recommended that a pumped flow test was necessary to truly determine the ability of the acreage's wells to provide the requisite water flow rate, temperature, and composition for the plant's operating lifetime of at least 15 years. Consequently, Thermal Power Company was contacted and procured to design, arrange, conduct, and evaluate a pumped flow program to satisfy these questions.« less
  6. The current legal and investment climate surrounding geothermal development is depicted. Changes that would make the climate more favorable to direct heat geothermal development are recommended. The Boise, Susanville, and Brady Hot Springs projects are analyzed. (MHR)
  7. During recent months, Magma Power Company has been involved in the shakedown and startup of their 10 MW binary cycle power plant at East Mesa in the Imperial Valley of Southern California. This pilot plant has been designed specifically as an R & D facility, with its primary goal to explore the necessary technology improvements required to make the binary cycle an efficient, cost effective and reliable conversion process. Magma Power's exploration activities, carried out in other parts of the Western United States after the initial discovery and development at The Geyser's, gave evidence that The Geyser's type of steammore » reservoir was unique and that the majority of geothermal resources would be of the hydrothermal, or pressurized hot water type. Initial flow tests throughout different locations where this type of resource was discovered indicated that well bore scaling occurred at the flash point in the wells. Initial evaluations indicated that if the well fluid could be maintained under pressure as it traversed the well bore, the potential for scaling would be mitigated. Tests carried out in the late 60's at Magma's Brady Hot Springs development in Nevada indicated that scaling was mitigated with the installation of a pump in the geothermal well. Subsequently, designs were developed of a binary process, utilizing heat exchangers for power generation. Magma was able to acquire process patents associated with this and had a patent issued (Magmamax Power Process). This incorporates the concept of pumping a geothermal well and transferring the heat in the geothermal fluid to a secondary power fluid in heat exchangers. Magma's desire to demonstrate this technology was one of the prime motivations associated with the installation of the East Mesa plant.« less
  8. The 2016 Renewable Energy Data Book provides facts and figures on energy and electricity use, renewable electricity in the United States, global renewable energy development, wind power, solar power, geothermal power, biopower, hydropower, marine and hydrokinetic power, hydrogen, renewable fuels, and clean energy investment.
  9. This report highlights project successes and continued efforts in all of our program areas – EGS, Hydrothermal, Low-Temperature, and Systems Analysis – which are flanked by useful tools and resources and links to more information. Such highlights include FORGE and EGS successes, projects reducing geothermal costs and risks, and advancements in technology research and development.

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