Characterizing Structural Controls of EGS-Candidate and Conventional Geothermal Reservoirs in the Great Basin: Developing Successful Exploration Strategies in Extended Terranes Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Characterizing Structural Controls of EGS-Candidate and Conventional Geothermal Reservoirs in the Great Basin: Developing Successful Exploration Strategies in Extended Terranes
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Component Research and Development/Analysis
Project Type / Topic 2 Geophysical Exploration Technologies

Project Description The project group proposes to systematically assess the structural controls of geothermal systems in the Great Basin and adjacent regions. Phase I (Year 1) involves a broad inventory of structural settings of geothermal systems in the Great Basin, Walker Lane, and southern Cascades, with the aim of developing conceptual structural models and a structural catalogue of the most favorable structural environments. The regional stress field will be used to evaluate slip tendency on faults in the various tectonic provinces and thus determine which faults are most likely to accommodate dilation and slip in each setting. This overview will permit selection of representative sites (5 or 6 total) for more detailed studies in Phases II and III (Years 2-3). Sites will be selected on the basis of quality of exposure, apparent potential for geothermal development, and general type of system, so that all major types of systems can be evaluated and compared in this project (e.g., magmatic vs. nonmagmatic). The detailed investigations will include geologic mapping, kinematic analysis, stress determinations, gravity surveys, integration of available geophysical data, slip tendency analysis, and 3D modeling. In Year 3, the detailed studies will be completed and data synthesized to a) compare structural controls in various tectonic settings, b) complete the structural catalogue, and c) apply knowledge to exploration strategies and selection of drilling sites.
State Nevada
Objectives -Produce a catalogue of favorable structural environments and models for geothermal systems

-Improve site-specific targeting of geothermal resources through detailed studies of representative sites, which will include innovative techniques of slip tendency analysis of faults and 3D modeling -Compare and contrast the structural controls and models in different tectonic settings (e.g., southern Cascade arc vs. Great Basin) -Synthesize data and develop methodologies for enhancement of exploration strategies for conventional and EGS systems, reduction in the risk of drilling non-productive wells, and selecting the best EGS sites.

Awardees (Company / Institution) Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, University of Nevada, Reno
Legal Name of Awardee Board of Regents, NSHE, on behalf of UNR
Awardee Website http://www.unr.edu/Geothermal/
Partner 1 Dr. Inga Moeck, Helmholtz Center, GFZ, Potsdam, Germany
Partner 2 Tom Carpenter, Gravity Specialist-Consultant









Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075

DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $935,505.00
Awardee Cost Share $234,429.00
Total Project Cost $1,169,934.00



Principal Investigator(s) James E. Faulds, Project Director, Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, Uniersity of Nevada, Reno


Targets / Milestones Multiple publications addressing the structural controls of geothermal activity will result from this project, including a comprehensive structural catalogue detailing favorable settings. This work will augment the discovery of new conventional geothermal systems, as well as enhancement of known systems (EGS) by providing qualitative and quantitative data on the most favorable structural settings. Specifically, it will help to focus regional exploration programs, target productive well sites in individual geothermal fields, and select the best sites for EGS experiments.




Location of Project Reno, NV



Impacts This project, if successful, will augment the discovery of new geothermal systems in the Great Basin.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]

References

  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs