Sources of subsidence at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field

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Abstract

At the Salton Sea Geothermal Field (SSGF) in Southern California, surface deformation associated with geologic processes including sediment compaction, tectonic strain, and fault slip may be augmented by energy production activities. Separating the relative contributions from natural and anthropogenic sources is especially important at the SSGF, which sits at the apex of a complex tectonic transition zone connecting the southern San Andreas Fault with the Imperial Fault; but this has been a challenging task so far. Here we analyze vertical surface velocities obtained from the persistent scatterer InSAR method and find that two of the largest subsidence anomalies can be represented by a set of volumetric strain nuclei at depths comparable to geothermal well completion zones. In contrast, the rates needed to achieve an adequate fit to the magnitudes of subsidence are almost an order of magnitude greater than rates reported for annual changes in aggregate net-production volume, suggesting that the physical mechanism responsible for subsidence at the SSGF is a complicated interplay between natural and anthropogenic sources.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Sources of subsidence at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field
ISBN 9781510824331
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Stanford Geothermal Program
Publisher location Stanford, CA
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the 41st workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering
First page 1453
Last page 1464
Conference Title 41st Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
Conference Location Stanford, CA
Conference Date February 22-24, 2016
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Salton Sea Geothermal Field