A restated conceptual model for the Humboldt House-Rye Patch geothermal resource area, Pershing County, Nevada
Journal Article: A restated conceptual model for the Humboldt House-Rye Patch geothermal resource area, Pershing County, Nevada
AbstractRecent geophysical work in the Rye Patch-Humboldt House geothermal area has occasioned a fundamental revision of the decades-old structural model used in prior development. Gravity, magnetic, LIDAR and recent seismic data have revealed an antithetic system paralleling the range front system that creates a broad zone of dilation and a classic 'pull-apart' ('sigmoidal rhombochasm') along the west boundary of the Humboldt Range. To the north, the antithetic and range front fault systems converge and are truncated by the Miocene-age 'Midas Transform', a regional, sinistral-slip system which has rotated fault azimuths, the Humboldt Range and the Humboldt River course to the east-northeast. To the south, the block is truncated by the convergence of the Rye Patch and antithetic systems along a newly-identified, parallel transform, again with sinistral-slip motion. This 'subbasin' extends eight miles north-to-south and encompasses nearly 8,000 acres of the area of the shallow thermal anomaly. Zones of geothermal outflow and areas of surface alteration occur at several locations in the block. The Range Front Fault controls outflow in the area of the Florida Canyon Mine, while the Rye Patch Fault, a splay off the Range Front Fault system, controls outflow to the south. Specific targets have been identified using seismic profiling and a revised structural interpretation. A prominent imbricate off the Humboldt City Thrust has created a 'high block' which is cut by the Rye Patch Fault or faults in the area of the existing wellfield. The coincidence of the Rye Patch Fault with the imbricate for much of its identified length (nearly four miles) is strongly suggestive of a genetic relationship and may be the principal control for the formation of an active conduit along the Rye Patch Fault. Tests of the deep flow system, projected to carry the high enthalpy fluids predicted from the high chemical temperatures in the system, are designed to target fault intersections with fractured Triassic limestones and volcanic rocks at depths of 7,500 to 8,800 feet. Numerous drilling targets within the subbasin are anticipated as exploration and development proceeds.
- R.K. Ellis
- Published Journal
- Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, 2011
- Not Provided
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R.K. Ellis. 2011. A restated conceptual model for the Humboldt House-Rye Patch geothermal resource area, Pershing County, Nevada. Geothermal Resources Council Transactions. 35:769-776.