Water Sampling

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Exploration Technique: Water 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:
Hydrological: Water composition and source of fluids
Thermal: Water temperature
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Water Sampling:
Water sampling is done to characterize the chemical, thermal, or hydrological properties of a surface or subsurface aqueous system.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle


 
Introduction
Water sampling is done to characterize the geothermal system under investigation. A geothermal water typically has a unique chemical signature that is developed by the dynamic hydrothermal system. Water samples can be taken from surface a spring or geyser, a drilled well, or from a certain depth in a well.

Water samples in standard sample vials. Photo from the Rutgers University Website.

 
Use in Geothermal Exploration
Water sampling is routinely used in geothermal exploration and monitoring to characterize the chemical composition of the fluid, measure the temperature, or conduct isotope studies to derive the provenance of thermal waters. Water sampling is a critical aspect of characterizing a geothermal system because the water chemistry, temperature and source can reveal the quality of the resource. Water chemistry is largely controlled by temperature, water-rock interactions, volume of water vs rock, residence time, and contributions from other fluids (mixing), such as cold groundwater, seawater, magmatic fluids, etc.[1] Waters that reach the surface may be over saturated with silica or carbonate at surface conditions and precipitate sinter or travertine, respectively.[2][1] Some geothermal fluids that reach the surface form acid-sulfate springs, generated from rising steam and volatile compounds that condense and mix with an overlying freshwater aquifer, whereupon the H2S in the steam oxidizes to form sulfuric acid.[2][1][3]

Geothermal waters typically range in total dissolved solids (TDS) from a few hundred to > 350,000 parts per million (ppm). [2][1] Liquid dominated reservoirs usually have a composition dominated by Na, K and Cl, but in very saline systems reservoir waters can be Na, K, Ca, and Cl rich.[3][1] Silica and trace element (As, B, Br, and Li) concentrations tend to be high compared to the average meteoric waters, and pH is generally between 6 and 9, although acidic saline liquids can also be associated with geothermal systems (as described above).[2][1]

 
Field Procedures
There are various types of water sampling techniques; this is largely due to the dynamic and constantly changing fluids that are moving through a geothermal system. Waters can either be sampled from geothermal wells or from springs, geysers, meteoric-dominated water bodies and discharges, and condensed fumarole steam at the surface. The methods and instruments for taking geothermal water samples are much different than non-thermal or ambient meteoric waters. This is largely due to the dissolved constituents in the water being very far out of equilibrium at surface conditions, making it challenging to get a representative sample. Arnorsson et al., (2006) and Brown & Simmons (2003) provide brief discussions of the various downhole sampling methods and of systems that are sampled for geothermal exploration.[4][5]




 
Best Practices
Surface and downhole water sampling are fundamental tools in geothermal exploration, and are typically subjected to chemical and isotopic analyses in order to characterize hydrothermal systems and allow for estimation of reservoir temperatures through the application of various chemical geothermometers. Data from these analyses can also provide useful information regarding the source of thermal fluids and help to constrain the age of the hydrothermal system.











Page Area Activity Start Date Activity End Date Reference Material
Water Sampling (Healy, 1970) Unspecified


Water Sampling (Lewicki & Oldenburg, 2004) Unspecified


Water Sampling At Alvord Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Alvord Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Belknap-Foley-Bigelow Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Belknap-Foley-Bigelow Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Beowawe Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Beowawe Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Blackfoot Reservoir Area (Hutsinpiller & Parry, 1985) Blackfoot Reservoir Area


Water Sampling At Breitenbush Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Breitenbush Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Buffalo Valley Hot Springs Area (Laney, 2005) Buffalo Valley Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Central Nevada Seismic Zone Region (Laney, 2005) Central Nevada Seismic Zone Geothermal Region


Water Sampling At Coso Geothermal Area (1977-1978) Coso Geothermal Area 1977 1978


Water Sampling At Crane Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Crane Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Dixie Valley Geothermal Area (Kennedy & Soest, 2006) Dixie Valley Geothermal Area 2004 2005


Water Sampling At Dixie Valley Geothermal Area (Wood, 2002) Dixie Valley Geothermal Area 1997 2001


Water Sampling At Fenton Hill HDR Geothermal Area (Rao, Et Al., 1996) Fenton Hill HDR Geothermal Area 1982 1996


Water Sampling At Hawthorne Area (Lazaro, Et Al., 2010) Hawthorne Area


Water Sampling At Heber Area (Wood, 2002) Heber Area


Water Sampling At Hot Lake Area (Wood, 2002) Hot Lake Area


Water Sampling At Hualalai Northwest Rift Area (Thomas, 1986) Hualalai Northwest Rift Area


Water Sampling At International Geothermal Area, New Zealand (Wood, 2002) International Geothermal Area New Zealand


Water Sampling At International Geothermal Area, Philippines (Wood, 2002) International Geothermal Area Philippines


Water Sampling At Jemez Springs Area (Goff, Et Al., 1981) Jemez Springs Area


Water Sampling At Jemez Springs Area (Rao, Et Al., 1996) Jemez Springs Area


Water Sampling At Jemez Springs Geothermal Area (Trainer, 1974) Jemez Springs Geothermal Area 1949 1974


Water Sampling At Kauai Area (Thomas, 1986) Kauai Area


Water Sampling At Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area (FURUMOTO, 1976) Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area 1974 1974


Water Sampling At Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area (Thomas, 1986) Kilauea East Rift Geothermal Area 1978 1987


Water Sampling At Lightning Dock Geothermal Area (Swanberg, 1976) Lightning Dock Geothermal Area


Water Sampling At Lightning Dock Geothermal Area (Witcher, 2006) Lightning Dock Geothermal Area


Water Sampling At Little Valley Area (Wood, 2002) Little Valley Area


Water Sampling At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Evans, Et Al., 2002) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 2002


Water Sampling At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Goff, Et Al., 1991) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1985 1986


Water Sampling At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (McKenzie & Truesdell, 1977) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1976 1976


Water Sampling At Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area (Sorey, Et Al., 1991) Long Valley Caldera Geothermal Area 1985 1986


Water Sampling At Lualualei Valley Area (Thomas, 1986) Lualualei Valley Area


Water Sampling At Mccredie Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Mccredie Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Mickey Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Mickey Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Mokapu Penninsula Area (Thomas, 1986) Mokapu Penninsula Area


Water Sampling At Mt Princeton Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Olson & Dellechaie, 1976) Mt Princeton Hot Springs Geothermal Area 1976 1976


Water Sampling At Mt Ranier Area (Frank, 1995) Mt Rainier Area


Water Sampling At Mt St Helens Area (Shevenell & Goff, 1995) Mt St Helens Area


Water Sampling At Northern Basin & Range Region (Laney, 2005) Northern Basin and Range Geothermal Region


Water Sampling At Nw Basin & Range Region (Laney, 2005) Northwest Basin and Range Geothermal Region


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


Water Sampling At Rhodes Marsh Area (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2006) Rhodes Marsh Area


Water Sampling At Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Faulder, 1991) Roosevelt Hot Springs Geothermal Area 1982 1987


Water Sampling At Salt Wells Area (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2006) Salt Wells Geothermal Area 2005 2005


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


Water Sampling At Salt Wells Area (Shevenell & Garside, 2003) Salt Wells Geothermal Area 2002 2002


Water Sampling At Salton Sea Area (Wood, 2002) Salton Sea Area


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


Water Sampling At Teels Marsh Area (Coolbaugh, Et Al., 2006) Teels Marsh Area


Water Sampling At Twenty-Nine Palms Area (Page, Et Al., 2010) Twenty-Nine Palms Geothermal Area


Water Sampling At Umpqua Hot Springs Area (Wood, 2002) Umpqua Hot Springs Area


Water Sampling At Valles Caldera - Redondo Area (Rao, Et Al., 1996) Valles Caldera - Redondo Geothermal Area 1996 1996


Water Sampling At Valles Caldera - Redondo Geothermal Area (Goff, Et Al., 1982) Valles Caldera - Redondo Geothermal Area 1982


Water Sampling At Valles Caldera - Sulphur Springs Area (Rao, Et Al., 1996) Valles Caldera - Sulphur Springs Geothermal Area 1982 1996


Water Sampling At Valles Caldera - Sulphur Springs Geothermal Area (Goff, Et Al., 1982) Valles Caldera - Sulphur Springs Geothermal Area 1982


Water Sampling At Valles Caldera - Sulphur Springs Geothermal Area (Trainer, 1974) Valles Caldera - Sulphur Springs Geothermal Area 1949 1974


Water Sampling At Valley Of Ten Thousand Smokes Region Area (Keith, Et Al., 1992) Valley Of Ten Thousand Smokes Region Area


Water Sampling At Walker-Lane Transitional Zone Region (Laney, 2005) Walker-Lane Transition Zone Geothermal Region


Water Sampling At Waunita Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Carpenter, 1981) Waunita Hot Springs Geothermal Area 1974 1974


Water Sampling At Yellowstone Region (Hurwitz, Et Al., 2007) Yellowstone Caldera Geothermal Region


Water Sampling At Zim's Hot Springs Geothermal Area (Wood, 2002) Zim's Hot Springs Geothermal Area


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