Cerro Prieto geothermal reservoirs tend to exhibit good hydraulic communication with adjacent cool groundwater aquifers. Under natural state conditions the hot fluids mix with the surrounding colder waters along the margins of the geothermal system, or discharge to shallow levels by flowing up fault L. In response to exploitation reservoir pressures decrease, leading to changes in the fluid flow pattern in the system and to groundwater influx. The various Cerro Prieto reservoirs have responded differently to production, showing localized near-well or generalized boiling, depending on their access to cool-water recharge. Significant cooling by dilution with groundwater has only been observed in wells located near the edges of the field. In general, entry of cool water at Cerro Prieto is beneficial because it tends to maintain reservoir pressures, restrict boiling, and lengthen the life and productivity of wells.
Additional publication details
Interaction of cold-water aquifers with exploited reservoirs of the Cerro Prieto geothermal system