Geology Of The Platanares Geothermal Area, Departamento De Copan, Honduras

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Journal Article: Geology Of The Platanares Geothermal Area, Departamento De Copan, Honduras

The Platanares geothermal area, Departamento de Copan, Honduras, is located within a graben that is complexly faulted. The graben is bounded on the north by a highland composed of Paleozoic (?) metamorphic rocks in contact with Cretaceous - Tertiary redbeds of unknown thickness. These are unconformably overlain by Tertiary andesitic lavas, rhyolitic ignimbrites, and associated sedimentary rocks. The volcanic rocks are mostly older than 14 Ma, and thus are too old to represent the surface expression of an active crustal magma body. Thermal fluids that discharge in the area are heated during deep circulation of meteoric water along faults in a region of somewhat elevated heat flow. Geothermometry based upon the chemical composition of thermal fluids from hot springs and from geothermal gradient coreholes suggests that the reservoir equilibrated at temperatures as high as 225 to 240°C, within the Cretaceous redbed sequence. Three continuously cored geothermal gradient holes have been drilled; fluids of about 165°C have been produced from two drilled along a NW-trending fault zone, from depths of 250 to 680 m. A conductive thermal gradient of 139°C/km, at a depth of 400 m, was determined from the third well, drilled 0.6 km west of that fault zone. These data indicate that the Platanares geothermal area holds considerable promise for electrical generation by moderate- to hightemperature geothermal fluids.

Grant Heiken, Napoleon Ramos, Wendell Duffield, John Musgrave, Kenneth Wohletz, Sue Priest, James Aldrich, Wilmer Flores, Alexander Ritchie, Fraser Goff, Dean Eppler and Carlos Escobar

Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1991

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Grant Heiken,Napoleon Ramos,Wendell Duffield,John Musgrave,Kenneth Wohletz,Sue Priest,James Aldrich,Wilmer Flores,Alexander Ritchie,Fraser Goff,Dean Eppler,Carlos Escobar. 1991. Geology Of The Platanares Geothermal Area, Departamento De Copan, Honduras. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .