Gamma Log

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Exploration Technique: Gamma Log

Exploration Technique Information
Exploration Group: Downhole Techniques
Exploration Sub Group: Well Log Techniques
Parent Exploration Technique: Well Log Techniques
Information Provided by Technique
Lithology: provides information on changes in rock type near the wellbore from changes in measured gamma radiation
Stratigraphic/Structural: using multiple gamma logs over an area, the depth to the sandstone and shale layers can be correlated over larger areas
Cost Information
Low-End Estimate (USD): 0.2525 centUSD
2.5e-4 kUSD
2.5e-7 MUSD
2.5e-10 TUSD
/ foot
Median Estimate (USD): 0.3838 centUSD
3.8e-4 kUSD
3.8e-7 MUSD
3.8e-10 TUSD
/ foot
High-End Estimate (USD): 0.7575 centUSD
7.5e-4 kUSD
7.5e-7 MUSD
7.5e-10 TUSD
/ foot
Time Required
Low-End Estimate: 0.35 days9.582478e-4 years
8.4 hours
0.05 weeks
0.0115 months
/ job
Median Estimate: 0.69 days0.00189 years
16.56 hours
0.0986 weeks
0.0227 months
/ job
High-End Estimate: 0.69 days0.00189 years
16.56 hours
0.0986 weeks
0.0227 months
/ job
Gamma Log:
Gamma logging is a method of measuring naturally occurring gamma radiation to characterize the rock or sediment in a borehole or drill hole. It is a wireline logging method used in mining, mineral exploration, water-well drilling, for formation evaluation in oil and gas well drilling and for other related purposes. Different types of rock emit different amounts and different spectra of natural gamma radiation.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle

Natural-gamma ray logging records the gamma radiation emitted from rocks and minerals within open or cased well bores that are either liquid or air filled. Potassium-40, Uranium-238 (series in equibrium) and Thorium-232 (series in equibrium) are the most common naturally occurring radioactive elements measured during natural-gamma ray logging. The natural-gamma ray log is a passive measurement, that is it measures the radiation emitted.

The most common and widley used gamma ray sensor uses a thallium doped sodium iodine crystal to detect the radiation. The detector does not discriminate the radiation emited from different mineral/rock sources.

Acidic igneous rocks (i.e., granites, ryolites, calc-alkine schists, etc.)have higher concentrations of Potassium-40(i.e., feldspars and micas) and radioneuclides than basic igneous rocks (i.e., bassalt, andesite, etc.). This is due to a higher concentration of Potassium-40 in feldspars and micas, which are easily altered to clay. Sandstones and limestones generally do not contain appreciable percentages of clay or radioactive minerals. This relationship provides a common and inexpensive method to distinguish lithologies within a well bore and stratigraphic correlation between well bores.

Use in Geothermal Exploration
The concentration of radioactive materials that emit gamma rays varies among different rock types. Acidic igneous and metamorphic rocks have a higher concentration of radioactive isotopes that the basic basaltic and andesitic rock types.

The gamma ray log can be analyzed and corrected for well bore effects and the differences in radioactivity of the igneous and metamorphic rock types. The presence of altered zones, cap rocks and shale layers, can also be identified.

Field Procedures
Typically run as one logging method in a standard suite of bore-hole logs.
Environmental Mitigation Measures
Measures associated with well drilling and well logging operations.

Data Access and Acquisition
A detector located within a wireline probe is lowered into the well and typically measures the gamma ray intensity when raised from the bottom. The detector can either be a scitillation counter (Thallum doped sodium iodice crystal) or Geiger-Muller tubes record and transmit the total radioactivity that is displayed as the gamma ray log.
Best Practices
If multiple wells are drilled within a geothermal field, correlating the gamma radiation data with depth can help to correlate lithologies between wells. Natural faulting of the system can alter the depth to the various layers between the wells.
Potential Pitfalls
Mostly shales and sandstones account for most of the gamma radiation. However, there are some other rocks such as some carbonates or feldspar rich rock types that produce radiation and could hinder the accurate detection of the sands and shales.

NEPA Analysis

Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary- Gamma Ray Log Geothermal Well Logging: Geological Wirelog and Fracture Imaging, Benedikt Steingrimsson, 2011 Keys, W. Scott and MacCary, 1971, Applications of Gorehole Geophysical to Water-Resources Investigations, in, Techniques of Water-Resourcws Investigations of the United states Geological Syrvey, 126p.

Page Area Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Gamma Log At Alum Area (Moos & Ronne, 2010) Alum Geothermal Area

Gamma Log At Coso Geothermal Area (1977) Coso Geothermal Area 1977 1977

Gamma Log At Flint Geothermal Area (DOE GTP) Flint Geothermal Area

Gamma Log At Fort Bliss Area (Combs, Et Al., 1999) Fort Bliss Area

Gamma Log At Lightning Dock Geothermal Area (Witcher, 2006) Lightning Dock Geothermal Area

Gamma Log At Raft River Geothermal Area (1979) Raft River Geothermal Area 1979 1979

Gamma Log At Silver Peak Area (DOE GTP) Silver Peak Area

Gamma Log At Valles Caldera - Redondo Geothermal Area (Rowley, Et Al., 1987) Valles Caldera - Redondo Geothermal Area 1984 1984

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