thumbnail

Industrially induced changes in Earth structure at the geysers geothermal area, California

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, , ,

Links

  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS

Abstract

Industrial exploitation is causing clearly-measurable changes in Earth structure at The Geysers geothermal area, California. Production at The Geysers peaked in the late 1980s at ???3.5 ?? 103 kg s-1 of steam and 1800 MW of electricity. It subsequently decreased by about 10% per year [Barker et al., 1992] because of declining reservoir pressure. The steam reservoir coincides with a strong negative anomaly (???0.16, ???9%) in the compressional-to-shear seismic wave speed ratio vP/vS, consistent with the expected effects of low-pressure vapor-phase pore fluid [Julian et al., 1996]. Between 1991 and 1994 this anomaly increased in amplitude by up to about 0.07 (???4%). This is consistent with the expected effects of continued pressure reduction and conversion of pore water to steam as a result of exploitation. These unique results show that vP/vS tomography can easily detect saturation changes caused by exploitation of reservoirs, and is a potentially valuable technique for monitoring environmental change. They also provide geophysical observational evidence that geothermal energy is not a renewable energy source.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Industrially induced changes in Earth structure at the geysers geothermal area, California
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
24
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
135
Last page:
137
Number of Pages:
3