Coupling geophysical investigation with hydrothermal modeling to constrain the enthalpy classification of a potential geothermal resource.

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

An appreciable challenge in volcanology and geothermal resource development is to understand the relationships between volcanic systems and low-enthalpy geothermal resources. The enthalpy of an undeveloped geothermal resource in the Karckar region of Armenia is investigated by coupling geophysical and hydrothermal modeling. The results of 3-dimensional inversion of gravity data provide key inputs into a hydrothermal circulation model of the system and associated hot springs, which is used to evaluate possible geothermal system configurations. Hydraulic and thermal properties are specified using maximum a priori estimates. Limited constraints provided by temperature data collected from an existing down-gradient borehole indicate that the geothermal system can most likely be classified as low-enthalpy and liquid dominated. We find the heat source for the system is likely cooling quartz monzonite intrusions in the shallow subsurface and that meteoric recharge in the pull-apart basin circulates to depth, rises along basin-bounding faults and discharges at the hot springs. While other combinations of subsurface properties and geothermal system configurations may fit the temperature distribution equally well, we demonstrate that the low-enthalpy system is reasonably explained based largely on interpretation of surface geophysical data and relatively simple models.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Coupling geophysical investigation with hydrothermal modeling to constrain the enthalpy classification of a potential geothermal resource.
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.03.020
Volume 298
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam
Contributing office(s) Texas Water Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 59
Last page 70
Country Armenia
Other Geospatial Karckar Region
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N