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Three-dimensional seismic image of a geothermal reservoir: The Geysers, California

Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract

Three-dimensional seismic travel-time tomography of The Geysers geothermal area, in the coast ranges of northern California, shows a strong (-9%) anomaly in VP/VS, the ratio of the compressional and shear wave speeds, that is not evident in Vp alone and corresponds closely to the most intensively exploited part of the geothermal reservoir. This anomaly probably indicates low pore pressure and relatively dry conditions, caused partly by boiling of pore water as steam is extracted. Steam pressure decreases over the last decade have probably caused seismologically measurable changes in wave speeds. Tomographic measurement of Vp/Vs is a promising technique both for identifying geothermal resources and for monitoring them during exploitation.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Three-dimensional seismic image of a geothermal reservoir: The Geysers, California
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
23
Issue:
6
Year Published:
1996
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
685
Last page:
688