Fracture Development within the Karaha-Telaga Bodas Geothermal Field, Indonesia

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Karaha-Telaga Bodas is a partially vapor-dominated geothermal system located in an active volcano in western Java. More than 2 dozen geothermal wells have been drilled to depths of 3 km. Detailed paragenetic and fluid-inclusion studies have defined liquid-dominated, transitional and vapor-dominated stages in the evolution of this system. The liquid-dominated stage was initiated by shallow magma intrusion into the base of the volcanic cone. Lava and pyroclastic flows capped a geothermal system. The uppermost andesite flows were only weakly fractured due to the insulating effect of the intervening altered pyroclastics, which absorbed the deformation. Shear and tensile fractures were filled with carbonates at shallow depths and by quartz, epidote and actinolite at depths and temperatures over 1km and 300??C. The system underwent numerous local cycles of overpressuring, which are marked by subhorizontal tensile fractures, anastomosing tensile fractures and implosion breccias. The development of the liquid system was interrupted by a catastrophic drop in fluid pressures. As the fluids boiled in response to this pressure drop, chalcedony and quartz were deposited in fractures having the largest apertures and steep dips. The orientations of these fractures indicate that the escaping overpressured fluids used the shortest possible paths to the surface. Vapor-dominated conditions were initiated within a vertical chimney over the still hot intrusion. As pressures declined these conditions spread outward. Downward migration of the chimney occurred as the intrusion cooled and the brittle-ductile transition migrated to greater depths. Condensate that formed at the top of the vapor-dominated zone percolated downward and lowsalinity meteoric water entered the marginal parts of the system. Calcite, anhydrite, and fluorite precipitated in fractures upon heating. A progressive sealing of the fractures occurred, resulting in the downward migration of the cap rock. In response to decreasing pore pressures in the expanding vapor zone, the fracture system within the vapor-dominated reservoir progressively collapsed, leaving only residual permeability, with apertures supported by asperities or propping breccia. In places, the fractures have completely collapsed where normal stresses acting on the fracture walls exceeded the compressive strength of the wall rock.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Fracture Development within the Karaha-Telaga Bodas Geothermal Field, Indonesia
Year Published:
Larger Work Title:
Transactions - Geothermal Resources Council
First page:
Last page:
Conference Title:
Geothermal Resources Council: 2002 Annual Meeting
Conference Location:
Reno, NV
Conference Date:
22 September 2002 through 25 September 2002