Geologic survey for geothermal exploration

geologic survey for geothermal exploration

We provide a wide range of science-driven services—this website being one—bringing the best of Colorado geoscience to the public. To help reduce the impact of geologic hazards on the citizens of Colorado; to promote responsible economic development of mineral and energy resources; to provide geologic insight into water resources; and to proffer sound geologic advice and information to a variety of constituencies.

More about the CGS. Groundwater—as a critical natural resource for Colorado—is the focus of this informative and data-rich online publication from the CGS. Building on our previous award-winning Ground Water Atlas of Colorado, it features a wide range of easily accessible data from a variety of sources. Many naturally occurring aggregates, such as sand, gravel, and crushed stone are produced around the state. They are used in a wide variety of ways including construction fill, concrete, road base along with rip-rap, snow and ice control, filtration systems, railroad ballast, hydraulic fracturing, and roofing granules.

Given the spectacular geology that graces our state, we are happy to report that our new POGI map is now live!

geologic survey for geothermal exploration

Check it out and let us know if you have any questions or additions! Manitou Springs occupies a narrow valley where Fountain Creek emerges from the foothills northeast of Pikes Peak and west of Colorado Springs. The valley slopes are composed of interbedded resistant sandstone and conglomerates i.


Western sections of the city are underlain by weak claystones and shales that are prone to landslides. With their high altitude, the central Rockies of Colorado saw numerous waves of intense glaciation, giving broad form to the mountains we see today.

In particular, the Sawatch Range, with its Collegiate Peaks area to the west of the Upper Arkansas River valley was the site of glaciation several times in the lastyears. Glacial terrains often feature dramatic ice- and land-forms. Colorado Geological Survey When rocks talk, we listen! Our Mission To help reduce the impact of geologic hazards on the citizens of Colorado; to promote responsible economic development of mineral and energy resources; to provide geologic insight into water resources; and to proffer sound geologic advice and information to a variety of constituencies.

ON Colorado Groundwater Atlas Groundwater—as a critical natural resource for Colorado—is the focus of this informative and data-rich online publication from the CGS. ON Colorado Aggregate Resources Map Many naturally occurring aggregates, such as sand, gravel, and crushed stone are produced around the state. Quick Links. Map Portal. GIS Data. Colorado Geology. Land Use Review. Follow Us.

Who we are and what we do … About the CGS. Points of Geologic Interest Given the spectacular geology that graces our state, we are happy to report that our new POGI map is now live! Learn More. One of the missions of the CGS is to better understand the various geological risks that face the residents of […]. Use this form to ask us … anything! Sign up for occasional announcements Fill out and submit this form so that we can send you information updates.

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These will include notices for new blog entries, new publications, and the occasional geoscience event or news item of note. This signup is not the same as your CGS Publications login.Much of the CGS website is under heavy re-construction and will be for some time.

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The Publications area is working normally, but there is a lot of content from our original site that was in desperate need of updating. Please bear with us as we gather new information and rewrite hundreds of pages of material, gather and properly caption high-resolution images and otherwise bring you some very cool new and archival material never before seen! Geothermal energy, or heat from the earth, is an excellent resource. One should be clear when discussing geothermal energy about which type is being discussed: direct use, electrical generation, heat pumps, or enhanced geothermal systems EGS.

Historically, Colorado has been considered to have geothermal resources suitable only for direct-use applications. This appears to be based more on a lack of study, rather than on sound science. It is exciting to see a number of companies actively looking at the potential for generating electricity from geothermal in several parts of the state.

Heat is a form of energy. Geothermal heat becomes an energy resource when we can use the heat to our advantage. At relatively shallow depths, depending on the temperature, the heat may be economically extracted and used. At shallow depths the Earth may be used as a heat reservoir. In terms of magnitude, the Earth receives more than a thousand times more energy from the Sun than is lost from its internal reserves.

However, the solar energy is lost back to space on a daily and seasonal basis. Soil and rocks are poor conductors of heat and below around seven feet 2 m below the surface, the annual and seasonal variations in surface temperature are damped out and the temperature is steady at approximately the mean annual ground surface temperature. Although this temperature is defined by the solar energy balance, it is soil and rock properties that make this zone good for use as a heat reservoir.

Ground-source heat pumps or geoexchange heat pumps use this zone for heat storage and retrieval. Where subsurface temperatures are significantly hotter than the surface temperatures heat may be extracted for surface use. This situation would occur where the geothermal gradient increases the temperature above the surface temperature.

This difference may be only a few degrees, or even a few degrees above winter surface temperature for some direct use applications, to a few hundred degrees Celsius for geothermal electricity generation. For some resources the mechanism may be natural, such as hot springs or artesian naturally flowing wells.

Other sites may require the drilling of a well and pumping. At many sites high subsurface temperatures are found but the rocks lack sufficient permeability pathways for fluid flow. These rocks may require artificial fracturing or down-hole heat-exchangers to extract the heat. Research on new technologies to extract heat from potential geothermal reservoirs is continuing.

These exploration targets represent potential sites with high heat flow. There are currently no geothermal electrical power generating facilities in Colorado. The interior of the Earth is hot. Volcanoes are a dramatic reminder that there is heat in the Earth. Miners who work in deep mines know that the deeper the level, the higher the temperatures. Oil-well drillers also know that the drill pipes are hot when they are pulled from a deep well and the oil is hot as it rises to the surface.

What is the source of this heat? An early theory was that all of this heat was primordial, or remained from the formation of the Earth.Nevada Today. Building on decades of successful research to develop exploration tools for the geothermal industry, the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology is leading a Department of Energy project that aims to accelerate discoveries of new, commercially viable hidden geothermal systems in the Great Basin region of the Western United States.

Geothermal energy exploration to get boost from University research

The multi-institutional team comprises a strong and diverse blend of experts, with a long history of successful collaborations focused on discovering, modeling and development of geothermal resources. Many team members have previously collaborated on major and successful geothermal projects.

The project will help drive down costs and risks associated with the discovery of hidden geothermal systems in the western USA. Hidden systems are systems that show no surface characteristics such as hot springs or steam vents.

This will help the geothermal industry as they develop more renewable energy resources for the electrical power grid around the west. The study area is a world-class geothermal province with more than 1, megawatts of existing installed capacity from about 28 geothermal systems. Studies indicate far greater potential for conventional hydrothermal systems in the region, but most of these resources are hidden. This is a rare opportunity to do extensive work in a larger area, to merge our expertise and learn from four regions.

Major achievements have been made in play fairway analysis, 3D and conceptual modeling, resource capacity estimation, machine learning, the application of advanced geostatistics and value of information analysis.

But these techniques have yet to be combined into one over-arching best-practices workflow. Our ambitious project proposes to fully integrate these techniques to develop a comprehensive, exploration toolkit. Play Fairway was regionally successful, finding two systems with economic development potential. The first Play Fairway project was more limited in scope and represented the first major attempt to combine multiple datasets to find hidden systems.

We learned a lot. The regional study area of the Basin and Range province stretches from the Sierra Nevada on the west to the Wasatch Front on the east, including the most tectonically active parts of the Great Basin Region.

There is strong correlation between active tectonism and relatively high-temperature geothermal systems in this region. The group from the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy and Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology has experts in geologic modeling, structural geology, geodesy, geostatistics, geochemistry, and database management and dissemination.

The project team also includes:. The University of Nevada, Reno was one of those projects.

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Tutoring is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and will take place entirely online. The College of Engineering aims to improve classroom practices and increase diversity in the field.

Research shows locals in favor of expanding smoke-free laws to include casinos and bars. Fall and spring break mitigation: remote instruction after fall break and spring break schedule adjusted. The Core Analytical Laboratory offers services to University researchers and the general public.Geothermal Resource Group offers Exploration and Geoscience consulting services tailored to the needs of individual clients, whether you have a greenfield prospect, are reaching into a new part of an existing field, or are targeting wells in an established field.

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Company Name. Site characterization complementary to surface geology, including sampling and analysis of hot springs, fumaroles, water wells, alteration minerals, and host rock petrology. Sampling and analysis of test, production and injection wells, including two-phase flow liquid and gas for determination of liquid anion and cation composition, non-condensable gas chemistry, isotopes and reservoir tracers.

geologic survey for geothermal exploration

Geothermal resources are found all over the world in many geologic settings. The geothermal potential of a given area is dependent on the temperature and the porosity and permeability of the host rocks. Techniques for identification of traditional geothermal resources used for electricity generation include a geologic, geochemical and geophysical study to determine the size, depth, temperature and fluid characteristics of the geothermal system.

With over 30 years of experience and having worked in over 25 countries, GRG has been a part of some notable geothermal projects, providing a full suite of services. Exploration and geosciences are the foundation of our expertise and critical to our complete geologic service offering. Mary Mann is a Professional Geologist specializing in geothermal energy. Prior to GRG, she was the Resource Manager for a geothermal operating company playing a key role in exploration program planning, conceptual model building, well targeting, resource monitoring and compliance, and drilling project management.

Before that, she gained experience with collection and interpretation of geophysical data including EM and potential fields data while working for a geophysical consulting firm. She has a background in hydrology, including research as a Fulbright Scholar studying water quality and domestic water well siting to benefit rural populations in Niger. GRG has an extensive network of Geologists strategically located around the world.

We will review your exploration and geoscience needs to ensure we offer the most experienced geologists for your project. Your Exploration and Geoscience Experts Geothermal Resource Group offers Exploration and Geoscience consulting services tailored to the needs of individual clients, whether you have a greenfield prospect, are reaching into a new part of an existing field, or are targeting wells in an established field.

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Geologic Services from Greenfields to Electrons. Core Exploration and Geoscience Services. Geochemistry Site characterization complementary to surface geology, including sampling and analysis of hot springs, fumaroles, water wells, alteration minerals, and host rock petrology.

Exploration Geothermal resources are found all over the world in many geologic settings. The One-Stop-Shop for all your geologic project needs! Notable Projects.

Ready to bring our team of experts onboard? Contact us. We brought GRG onboard to model our resource and develop a plan for development. Our Expert Project Geologist. Mary Mann Project Geologist. Reach Us. Stop by to say hello! Follow Us on Social Media.

Contact Us Today! Your Exploration and Geoscience needs will be in good hands.Science Explorer. Multimedia Gallery. Park Passes. Technical Announcements. Employees in the News. Emergency Management. Survey Manual. Mission: to characterize and assess geothermal energy resources in the United States and to work with the Department of Energy and other partners to advance the technologies applied to discover, characterize, and utilize those resources.

Geothermal energy is a significant source of renewable electric power in the western United States and, with advances in exploration and development technologies, a potential source of a large fraction of baseload electric power for the entire country. The USGS Geothermal Resource Investigations Project is focused on advancing geothermal research through a better understanding of geothermal resources and the impacts of geothermal development.

This is achieved by applying a wide range of research methods to characterize resource occurrences, perform monitoring, and develop resource assessments. The project team works closely with a number of external collaborators from federal and state agencies, academia and industry on projects throughout the US and internationally provide link to map of field study areas. Based on current projections, the United States faces the need to increase its electrical power generating capacity by approximatelyMegawatts-electrical MWe over the next 20 years.

A critical question for future energy planning is the extent to which geothermal resources can contribute to this increasing demand for electricity.

The USGS National geothermal resource assessment provide link to assessment estimated potential power production capacity from identified and undiscovered conventional geothermal resources at approximately 40, MWe.

Still, significant questions remain regarding the nature and extent of undiscovered conventional geothermal resources as well as the viability of EGS as a new technology for producing geothermal electric power.

This project is focused on addressing these issues as well as producing comprehensive databases of geothermal information compiled in the course of the assessment work, expanding the scope of the assessment to lower temperatures and other unconventional geothermal resource types, and conducting further research into the nature of geothermal resources in order to develop improved methodologies for future assessments. September, the USGS led a NASA-funded project, where a team of scientists and engineers, collected magnetic data using ground surveys and an aircraft that can fly without a pilot or crew, called an unmanned aerial system, or UAS, to map the geophysics below the surface of Surprise Valley, CA.

The Geothermal Project team is leading an effort, in collaboration with NASA Ames and a number of other institutions from academia and industry, developing Unmanned Aerial Systems for collecting airborne data to aid geothermal research. It also hosts Akutan Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the United States. The Geysers, in northern California, is the largest energy producing geothermal field in the world. Though the area is anomalously Geothermal systems occur where subsurface permeability and temperature are sufficiently high to drive fluid circulation.

A robust dataset confirms that the lithologic sequence consists of Quaternary through The Great Basin region is capable of generating much greater amounts of geothermal energy than currently produced. Most geothermal resources in this region are blind, and thus favorable characteristics for geothermal activity must be synthesized and methodologies developed to discover new commercial-grade systems.

The geothermal play fairway Sufficient temperatures to generate steam likely exist under most of the dominantly volcanic terrains of southeast Oregon, northeast California, and southeast Idaho, USA, but finding sufficient permeability to allow efficient advective heat exchange is an outstanding challenge.

A new thematic interpretation of existing state-level geologic maps The West Flank is west of the Coso geothermal field, an area of China Lake NAWS dominated by the Quaternary Coso volcanic field largely comprised of rhyolite domes and their volcaniclastic and epiclastic horizons. The largest dome flow A one-dimensional 1-D analytic solution is developed for heat transport through an aquifer system where the vertical temperature profile in the aquifer is nearly uniform. The general anisotropic form of the viscous heat generation term is developed for use in groundwater flow simulations.

The 1-D solution is extended to more complex geometries Characterizing the tectonic stress field is an integral part of the development of hydrothermal systems and especially for enhanced geothermal systems EGS.Geothermal exploration is the exploration of the subsurface in search of viable active geothermal regions with the goal of building a geothermal power plant, where hot fluids drive turbines to create electricity.

Geothermal regions with adequate heat flow to fuel power plants are found in rift zonessubduction zones and mantle plumes. Hot spots are characterized by four geothermal elements. An active region will have: [1]. Exploration involves not only identifying hot geothermal bodies, but also low-density, cost effective regions to drill and already constituted plumbing systems inherent within the subsurface. These costs are mostly from drilling operations necessary to confirm or deny viable geothermal regions.

Drilling provides the most accurate information in the exploration process, but is also the most costly exploration method. Thermal gradient holes TGHexploration wells slim holesand full-scale production wells wildcats provide the most reliable information on the subsurface. Subsurface materials associated with geothermal fields range from limestone to shalevolcanic rocks and granite.

Most consultants and engineers consider exploration to continue until one production well is completed successfully. To increase the chances of successfully drilling, innovations in remote sensing technologies have developed over the last 2 decades. These less costly means of exploration are categorized into multiple fields including geology, geochemistry and geophysics.

Seismology has played a significant role in the oil and gas industry and is now being adapted to geothermal exploration. Two sub categories exist that are relevant to the source of the seismic signal. Passive seismology uses earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or other tectonic activity as sources.

Passive seismic studies use natural wave propagation through the earth. Earthquakes of lesser magnitude are much more frequent than ones of larger magnitude. Active Seismology, which has history in the oil and gas industry, involves studying man made vibrational wave propagation.

In these studies geophones or other seismic sensors are spread across the study site. The most common geophone spreads are in line, offset, in-line with center shot and Fan shooting.

Many analytical techniques can be applied to active seismology studies but generally all include Huygens PrincipleFermat's Principle and Snell's law. These basic principles can be used to identify subsurface anomalies, reflective layers and other objects with high impedance contrasts.

Gravimetry studies use changes in densities to characterize subsurface properties. Subsurface fault lines are also identifiable with gravitational methods. These faults are often identified as prime drilling locations as their densities are much less than surrounding material. Developments in airborne gravitational studies yield large amounts of data, which can be used to model the subsurface 3 dimensionally with relatively high levels of accuracy. Changes in groundwater levels may also be measured and identified with gravitational methods.

This recharge element is imperative in creating productive geothermal systems. Pore density and subsequent overall density are affected by fluid flow and therefore change the gravitational field. When correlated with current weather conditions, this can be measured and modeled to estimate the rate of recharge in geothermal reservoirs.

Unfortunately, there are many other factors that must be realized before data from a gravity study can be interpreted. Objects of concern produce a significantly smaller gravitational field.

Therefore, instrumentation must detect variations as small as 0. Other considerations including elevation, latitude and weather conditions must be carefully observed and taken into account.

Geothermal exploration

Magnetotellurics MT measurements allow detection of resistivity anomalies associated with productive geothermal structures, including faults and the presence of a cap rockand allow for estimation of geothermal reservoir temperatures at various depths. MT has successfully contributed to the successful mapping and development of geothermal resources around the world since the early s, including in the U.I love your company, you are awesome and I will recommend you to everyone.

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