Definition: Field Techniques

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Field Techniques

Field techniques include a broad array of methods used to characterize a geothermal system based on data and analysis of samples collected in the field. Surface mapping, shallow temperature probe surveys, and portable XRF/XRD analysis represent a valuable set of basic, cost effective tools for evaluating geothermal prospects. These methods can provide a geothermal exploration program with considerable information about a hydrothermal system prior to the application of expensive laboratory analysis or exploration drilling techniques. Systematic field sampling is also critical for reliable characterize a geothermal resource. Some of the physical and chemical properties of rock samples can be estimated by visual inspection, but accurate determination of these properties requires detailed laboratory analysis. Surface or subsurface fluid sampling is also routinely performed to characterize the chemical, thermal, or hydrological properties of a hydrothermal system. Combinations of these sampling techniques have traditionally been used to obtain important information used to determine whether or not a viable power generation or heat utilization facility can be developed at a prospect.