Detachment Faulting and Geothermal Resources – An Innovative Integrated Geological and Geophysical Investigation in Fish Lake Valley, Nevada Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Detachment Faulting and Geothermal Resources – An Innovative Integrated Geological and Geophysical Investigation in Fish Lake Valley, Nevada
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Geothermal Technologies Program
Project Type / Topic 2 Validation of Innovative Exploration Technologies
Project Description This program is designed to provide valuable new subsurface information about one of the Nation’s arguably most promising high-temperature geothermal targets. Until now, the Emigrant

Geothermal Prospect has been tested by only shallow and relatively shallow thermal-gradient boreholes and a small number of exploration wells, all of which have lacked any detailed 2-D or 3-D structural context. The applicants propose to conduct an innovative integration of detailed 2- D and 3-D structural reconstructions (structural mapping and reflection/refraction source seismology integrated with available data).

State Nevada
Objectives Complete a 3-phased program at the Emigrant Geothermal Prospect and adjacent areas of the Playa and Hot Box Geothermal Prospects that are all located along the eastern margin of the northern Fish Lake Valley pull-apart basin in west-central Nevada.
Awardees (Company / Institution) University of Kansas
Legal Name of Awardee University of Kansas Center for Research Inc.
Awardee Website
Partner 1 Fish Lake Green Power Company
Partner 2 Esmeralda Energy Company
Partner 3 University of Oklahoma

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000109
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $2,400,509.00
Awardee Cost Share $1,128,967.00
Total Project Cost $3,529,476.00

Principal Investigator(s) Daniel F. Stockli, University of Kansas
Other Principal Investigators J. Douglas Walker, University of Kansas; John Deymonaz, Fish Lake Green Power Company; Jack McNamara, Esmeralda Energy Company; Kathleen Keranen, University of Oklahoma; and G. Randy Keller, University of Oklahoma
Targets / Milestones - Geological and geophysical resource evaluation;

- Drilling of slimhole exploration wells (either core hole or rotary-drilled, or both); and
- Reservoir testing.

The integration of these 3-D results would be used to identify and drill 2-3 geothermal target prospects in the hanging wall of the Mineral Ridge low-angle detachment system in northern Fish Lake Valley. Finally, analyzed core samples and well data will be integrated with the pre-drilling 3-D structural and thermal model to further refine geothermal resource potential for northern Fish Lake Valley and also give further insights into occurrence models for similar geothermal areas in the Basin and Range province.

Location of Project Fish Lake Valley, NV

Impacts Provide insight into the time evolution of the thermal and hydrological regime of the area and validate that the method is effective in lowering exploration risk.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs