Soil Sampling

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Exploration Technique: Soil Sampling

Exploration Technique Information
Exploration Group: Field Techniques
Exploration Sub Group: Field Sampling
Parent Exploration Technique: Field Sampling
Information Provided by Technique
Lithology:
Stratigraphic/Structural: Can reveal relatively high permeability zones
Hydrological:
Thermal: Used to locate active hydrothermal systems
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Soil Sampling:
Soil sampling is a method that can be used for exploration of geothermal resources that lack obvious surface manifestations. Soils that are above or adjacent to a “hidden” hydrothermal system will have a unique chemistry that can be indicative of a hydrothermal system at depth and a zone of relatively high permeability.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle


 
Introduction
When a geothermal resource lacks surface manifestations (hot springs, fumaroles, mud volcanoes, etc.) soil sampling can be a useful way to determine if there is hydrothermal activity at depth. Soils can act similar to a sponge and absorb certain elements or mineral alterations that are associated with hydrothermal activity.

Geologist taking a soil sample in the field. Photo from the Kansas State University website[1].

 
Use in Geothermal Exploration
Soil Sampling is typically done in a methodical and structured way so the results of the geochemical analysis can be used to plot spatially on a map. An active hydrothermal system releases fluids that are anomalous in typical surface environments. The most volatile gases are able to escape the heat source and permeate through overlying formations, casting an imprint either on the soil or into the atmosphere that is used to locate a potential geothermal resource. The successful identification of these soils can reveal relatively high permeability zones and an otherwise unknown geothermal resource.
















Page Area Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Soil Sampling At Chena Geothermal Area (Kolker, 2008) Chena Geothermal Area 1979 1980


Soil Sampling At Dixie Valley Geothermal Area (Nash & D., 1997) Dixie Valley Geothermal Area 1996 1997


Soil Sampling At Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area (Cox, 1981) Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area 1981 1981


Soil Sampling At Lester Meadow Area (Vice, 2008) Lester Meadow Area


Soil Sampling At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Klusman & Landress, 1979) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1979


Soil Sampling At Mccoy Geothermal Area (DOE GTP) Mccoy Geothermal Area


Soil Sampling At Molokai Area (Thomas, 1986) Molokai Area


Soil Sampling At North Brawley Geothermal Area (Alan & G., 1977) North Brawley Geothermal Area 1976 1977


Soil Sampling At Reese River Area (Henkle, Et Al., 2005) Reese River Area


Soil Sampling At Salt Wells Area (Henkle, Et Al., 2005) Salt Wells Area 2005


Soil Sampling At Silver Peak Area (Henkle, Et Al., 2005) Silver Peak Area


Soil Sampling At Valley Of Ten Thousand Smokes Region Area (Kodosky & Keith, 1993) Valley Of Ten Thousand Smokes Region Area


Soil Sampling At Valley Of Ten Thousand Smokes Region Area (Kodosky, 1989) Valley Of Ten Thousand Smokes Region Area


Soil Sampling At Waunita Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Ringrose & Pearl, 1981) Waunita Hot Springs Geothermal Area 1980 1980


Soil Sampling At Yellowstone Region (Hellman & Ramsey, 2004) Yellowstone Caldera Geothermal Region


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