Heat Flow At The Platanares, Honduras, Geothermal Site

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Journal Article: Heat Flow At The Platanares, Honduras, Geothermal Site

Three boreholes, PLTG-1, PLTG-2 and PLTG-3, were drilled in the Platanares, Honduras geothermal system to evaluate the geothermal energy potential of the site. The maximum reservoir temperature was previously estimated at 225-240°C using various types of chemical and isotopic geothermometry. Geothermal gradients of 139-239°C/km, calculated from two segments of the temperature-depth profile for borehole PLTG-2, were used to project a minimum depth to the geothermal reservoir of 1.2-1.7 km. Borehole PLTG-1 exhibited an erratic temperature distribution attributed to fluid movement through a series of isolated horizontal and subhorizontal fractures. The maximum measured temperature in borehole PLTG-1 was 150.4°C, and in PLTG-2 the maximum measured temperature was 104.3°C. PLTG-3 was drilled after this study and the maximum recorded temperature of 165°C is similar to the temperature encountered in PLTG-1. Heat flow values of 392 mWm-2 and 266 mWm-2 represent the first directly-measured heat flow values for Honduras and northen Central America. Radioactive heat generation, based on gamma-ray analyses of uranium, thorium and potassium in five core samples, is less than 2.0 μWm-3 and does not appear to be a major source of the high heat flow. Several authors have proposed a variety of extensional tectonic environments for western Honduras and these heat flow values, along with published estimates of heat flow, are supportive of this type of tectonic regime.

Joseph G. Meert and Douglas L. Smith

Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1991

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Joseph G. Meert,Douglas L. Smith. 1991. Heat Flow At The Platanares, Honduras, Geothermal Site. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .