Seismic Reflection Data and Conceptual Models for Geothermal Development in Nevada

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Conference Paper: Seismic Reflection Data and Conceptual Models for Geothermal Development in Nevada

Abstract
Seismic reflection data were collected in two geothermalareas in Nevada to support geologic structural models andgeothermal well targeting. The data were integrated withsurface mapping, well results, and other geophysical data inconceptual geologic models in both areas. Faults wereinterpreted from reflection data based on reflector offsetsand apparent fault surface reflectors dipping away from therange front. Interpreted faults at Blue Mt., where severalwells have been drilled, correlated with well entries.Subsequent well targeting based on the conceptualstructural model at Blue Mt. resulted in an important stepoutdrilling success.The data quality in reflection images with possible faultsurface reflectors was reviewed because of the potentialexploration value of the correlation of these reflectors withwell entries. Data quality review at Blue Mt. showed thatnoise patterns dominate most of the reflection data.Consequently it appears that the interpreted fault surfacereflectors are most likely related to coherent noise and thatthe observed well entry - fault correlations may befortuitous.The noise review experience from Blue Mt. has beenintegrated into more successful seismic interpretationselsewhere, including at the Pumpernickel Prospect. Theapplication of reflection data in Basin and Range settingsshould consider noise issues at the design and interpretationstage, use quality assurance graphics to assess interpretationuncertainty, interpret the reflection data in the context of therefraction seismic velocity images, and apply skepticism toapparent fault reflectors dipping away from the range front.The success of the step-out well targeting at Blue Mt. inspite of the failure of seismic reflection data to image thesubsurface demonstrates the robust reliability of aconceptual model approach to geothermal exploration thatemphasizes the consistent integration of multiple data sets.

Authors 
Glenn Melosh, William Cumming, John Casteel, Kim Niggemann and Brian Fairbank






Conference 
Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2010; Bali, Indonesia; 2010/04/25


Published 
International Geothermal Association, 2010





DOI 
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Online 
Internet link for Seismic Reflection Data and Conceptual Models for Geothermal Development in Nevada

Citation

Glenn Melosh, William Cumming, John Casteel, Kim Niggemann, Brian Fairbank. 2010. Seismic Reflection Data and Conceptual Models for Geothermal Development in Nevada. In: Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2010. Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2010; 2010/04/25; Bali, Indonesia. Bali, Indonesia: International Geothermal Association; p. 6


Related Geothermal Exploration Activities
Activities (1)


Areas (1)
  1. Blue Mountain Geothermal Area
Regions (0)