University of Utah GEO 5920/6920/692; 3 credit hours, Fall semester 2010

2 hr lecture; 1 hr practical; Weds, 4-7 pm; 45 contact hours

Aug 25 - Crustal Geothermal Regime (Chapman):

Hour 1: Thermal state of the upper crust, locations of geothermal systems, convection vs. conduction, stored heat in crust, cooling plutons and cooling time scales, volcanism, tectonism, permeability, importance of faults.

Hour 2: Types of geothermal system (volcano-hosted, fault zone, rift valley/sedimentary basin, ocean rift valleys, vapor-dominated versus liquid-dominated) with examples

Hour 3: heat flow/convection problems; Newcastle, UT geothermal system

Sept.1 - Harnessing the Heat (Allis/ Larsen):

Hour 1: The subsurface (Allis): World/U.S. geothermal power; video of discharging well; energy, mass comparisons of discharging oil, gas, geothermal, and ground water wells; Steam-water systems; boiling point for depth relationships, properties of steam and water; relations between production and injection wells; effects of gas/salinity.

Hour 2: The power plant/borefield (Larsen, Pacificorp), converting heat to electricity - traditional steam separation power plants, binary power plants; examples from around the Basin and Range; CalEnergy video & borefield operations.

Hour 3: BPD calculations; flowing well production rates vs. power production.

Sept. 8 - Geology and Geothermal Fluids (Moore):

Hour 1: Applications of hydrothermal alteration studies; analytical techniques; thermal stabilities of minerals and mineral zoning; distributions of clay minerals; effect of hydrothermal alteration/rock type on permeability

Hour 2: Effects of boiling, mixing, heating and conductive cooling on hydrothermal mineralogy; fluid types and their characteristic mineral assemblages; overprinting of alteration assemblages; duration of hydrothermal activity

Hour 3: Hands-on look at rocks, thin sections, and alteration assemblages

Sept. 15 - Reservoir Characteristics (Allis):

Hour 1: Relationship between topography, steaming ground, springs, and well data to reservoir conditions; injectivity and productivity tests; review of common wireline logging techniques (temperature, pressure, spinner, FMS/FMI, gamma, sonic, density);

Hour 2: Interpreting downhole logs, with emphasis on temperature and pressure profiles

Hour 3: Hands-on interpretion of some real T/P logs

Sept. 22 - Remote Sensing Techniques, GIS Techniques, 3-D geologic modeling (Nash):

Hour 1: General remote sensing background (a) Review of theory (focus on absorption spectroscopy) (b) Instruments, data types, applications: Multispectral; Hyperspectral; TIR; Radar; LIDAR; DEMs (c) Data availability (d) Application to geothermal exploration: mineralogy; hydrothermal alteration; lithology; structure

Hour 2: Data integration (GIS) (a) Geologic mapping (remotely sensed data, DEMs). (b) Geophysical data (c) Geochemical data (d) Water chemistry (e) Hydrology (f) Decision making info (land ownership, wilderness areas, transmission lines, etc.)

Hour 3: Hands on assignment (a) Band ratios for hydrothermal alteration, (b) Fault mapping, (c) GIS database development.

Sept. 29 - Geophysical Exploration Techniques (Wannamaker, Chapman):

Hour 1: Electrical resistivity as a physical property on par with others (density, magnetization, velocity); Resistance, resistivity, Ohm's Law; Range of electrical resistivity among different earth materials; Bulk properties of silicate-fluid mixtures; Diagnostic signatures of geothermal systems: andesitic stratovolcano, plutonic hosted; Sequencing of electrical surveys in geothermal exploration. Use of electrical source fields as probes of the subsurface property; Commonly used deployments to estimate resistivity, heuristic principles; Methods of simulating the measured electrical responses; Estimating subsurface resistivity structure from measured data (inversion).

Hour 2: characterizing geothermal reservoirs using other geophysical techniques: heat flow, gravity, magnetics, active and passive seismic methods.

Hour 3: Hands-on interpretation of geophysical signatures.

Oct. 6 - Geochemical Exploration Techniques (Moore):

Hour 1: Fluid types and their distributions in geothermal systems; the chemical compositions of geothermal waters; sampling and analysis of geothermal waters; calculation of charge balances; comparing multiple analyses.

Hour 2: Evaluation fluid processes (boiling, conductive cooling and mixing); relationship of fluid types to surface manifestations; application of liquid and gas geothermometers; soil geochemical surveys.

Hour 3: Hands-on interpretation of chemical analyses.

Field Trip: SLC-Milford-Cedar City & Cedar City-Newcastle-Cove Fort-SLC.

Oct. 8 (Fri): Depart DNR, Redwood Road @ 7am.

  • 10:30am - Opal Mound Fault
  • 11:30am - Blundell Power Plant control room (lunch & intro from Garth Larsen)
  • 12:30pm - Tour separator, discharge test, power plants
  • ~2pm - move to thermal areas
  • ~4pm - depart for Cedar City

Oct. 9 (Sat): Depart motel @ 8am

  • ~9am - Newcastle field, thermal greenhouses
  • 11:30am - Tour Raser Technology plant
  • ~2pm - Cove Fort field (ENEL host)
  • ~3:30pm - Depart for SLC; arrive ~7pm

Oct. 13 - Fall break; no class
Oct. 20 - Direct Heat Applications (Lund, OIT-NREL):

Hour 1: What goes into a direct-heat project.

Hour 2: Specifics of greenhouse and aquaculture design, combined heat and power, industrial applications, balneology/spa applications and design, geothermal heat pumps.

Hour 3: problem set.

Oct. 27 - Reservoir and Field Management - Physical Changes (Allis):

Hour 1: Typical power plant and borefield footprints; overview of subsurface effects of production and injection (steam zone formation, cooling, pressure changes, well-field productivity, enthalpy, and injectivity changes).

Hour 2: surface (environmental) impacts, surface discharges. Examples of thermal ground, hot spring/geyser changes; subsidence; induced seismicity, reservoir monitoring, precision gravimetry. Hour 3 : discussion and assignment of case studies to student teams (Roosevelt-UT, Cove Fort-UT, Cerro Prieto-MX, Dixie Valley-NV, The Geysers)

Nov. 3 - Reservoir and Field Management - Tracers (Rose):

Hour 1: Applications of tracers to determining fluid flow in reservoirs; steam vs. water tracers; time scales for fluid flow; examples from fields around the western U.S.

Hour 2: Introduction of case study challenge (Roosevelt Geothermal System) for participant teams

Hour 3: Project team meetings for discussions/strategies.

Nov. 10 - Reservoir and Field Management - Chemistry (Simmons):

Hour 1: Trends in water and gas chemistry with development, effects of boiling (pressure decline in reservoir and wellbore), dilution, mixing with injectate.

Hour 2: Chloride enthalpy plots, silica scale issues, calcite scale issues, acidizing and inhibitors, discharge fro vapor zones versus liquid zones, examples from matjre fields.

Hour 3: problem set

Nov. 17 - Enhanced Geothermal Systems (Ingebritsen, Allis, Chapman):

Hour 1: Permeability, seismicity, enhanced geothermal systems (Ingebritsen)

Hour 2: Engineered fluid flow, power potential, review of EGS projects; the future of geothermal energy (recent trends in development in western U.S., global trends, issues). (Allis, Chapman)

Hour 3: problem set

Nov. 24 - International Case Studies (Chapman, Allis, Moore, Raharjo):

Hour 1: Wairakei-Tauhara (N.Z., Allis); Kamojang (Indonesia, Raharjo)

Hour 2: Tiwi (Philippines, Moore); ? Krafla (Iceland, to be confirmed)

Hour 3: Work on case study assignments.

Dec. 1 - Meet to work on case study assignments
Dec. 8 - Student presentations of case studies
Classes end Friday, December 10.