Our Evolving Knowledge Of Nevada'S Geothermal Resource Potential

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Conference Paper: Our Evolving Knowledge Of Nevada'S Geothermal Resource Potential


The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy (GBCGE) is conducting site-specific and regional geothermal research both in direct collaboration with industry (typically site-specific) and independently (typically regional exploration), communicating findings with public and industrial partners. These studies are research-oriented and are developing new tools for assessing existing geothermal systems and discovering new geothermal systems. Research directed towards new geothermal discoveries includes: 1) development of portable, efficient systems of measuring shallow ground temperatures, 2) structural analysis of the controls of existing geothermal systems and development of conceptual models of such controls, 3) use of multispectral and hyperspectral remote sensing to identify borates, sulfates, and other geothermal mineral indicators, 4) assessment of cold spring major and trace element geochemistries to identify thermal water contributions, 5) collaboration with the mining industry to publicize new geothermal discoveries encountered during mineral exploration drilling, and 6) development of new mathematical techniques for integrating diverse exploration data into regional predictive models of geothermal potential. These efforts have collectively been highly successful in identifying new geothermal resources.

Remote sensing-based mapping of borate and sulfate deposits has helped recognize blind geothermal systems at Bonham Ranch, and Rhodes and Teels Marshes, NV. Collaboration with the gold mining industry has led to the announcement of two new significant geothermal discoveries at McGinness Hills and Tungsten Mountain, Nevada. Detailed geological mapping at Desert Peak and other geothermal systems has led to significant improvements in the understanding of structural controls on geothermal fluid flow, which has implications not only for drilling successful production wells but also for recognizing favorable structural environments elsewhere. GIS-based spatial statistical modeling indicates that a significant undiscovered resource base of blind geothermal systems exists in the Great Basin. Recent exploration successes, in part derived from GBCGE research, confirms that these systems can and will be found, and that geothermal energy can be a major contributor to the renewable energy portfolio in Nevada.

Lisa Shevenell, Mark Coolbaugh, Chris Sladek, Rick Zehner, Chris Kratt, James Faulds and Robin Penfield

GRC, 2008

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Lisa Shevenell,Mark Coolbaugh,Chris Sladek,Rick Zehner,Chris Kratt,James Faulds,Robin Penfield. 2008. Our Evolving Knowledge Of Nevada'S Geothermal Resource Potential. In: (!) ; (!) ; (!) . (!) : GRC; p. (!)

Related Geothermal Exploration Activities
Activities (16)

Areas (9)
  1. Rhodes Marsh Area

  2. Teels Marsh Area

  3. Tungsten Mountain Area

  4. Central Nevada Seismic Zone Geothermal Region

  5. Northern Basin and Range Geothermal Region

  6. Northwest Basin and Range Geothermal Region

  7. Walker-Lane Transition Zone Geothermal Region

  8. Columbus Salt Marsh Area

  9. Spencer Hot Springs Geothermal Area
Regions (0)