Thermal Evolution Models for the Valles Caldera with Reference to a Hot-Dry-Rock Geothermal Experiment
From Open Energy Information
Journal Article: Thermal Evolution Models for the Valles Caldera with Reference to a Hot-Dry-Rock Geothermal Experiment
AbstractA two-dimensional finite element heat conduction model has been formulated and used to investigate the thermal evolution of the Valles volcanic complex and caldera in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico. The Valles complex is currently being extensively explored for geothermal energy within the caldera by commercial interests seeking hydrothermal resources. In addition, a number of test wells have been drilled just outside the caldera�s west margin by the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory to test a potential hot-dry-rock (HDR) geothermal energy extraction technique.It is assumed that a magma chamber was emplaced under the Valles complex prior to the last large ash-flow eruption 1.04 m.y. ago; calculations of thermal evolution to the present are compared with heat flow and temperature measurements made in the geothermal test holes in and near the caldera. Results indicate that: (1) a partly molten magma chamber may still reside beneath the Valles complex; (2) the magma chamber may have extended initially beyond the margin of the caldera as defined by the ring fracture system; and (3) the top of the magma chamber may have originally been just below the present bottom of the HDR test holes, at 3 km, so that further drilling may encounter very young, recently crystallized granite.
- C.D. Kolstad and T.R. McGetchin
- Published Journal
- Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1978
- Internet link for Thermal Evolution Models for the Valles Caldera with Reference to a Hot-Dry-Rock Geothermal Experiment
C.D. Kolstad,T.R. McGetchin. 1978. Thermal Evolution Models for the Valles Caldera with Reference to a Hot-Dry-Rock Geothermal Experiment. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 3(1-2):197-218.