BSU Geophysics Field Camp Report 2012

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Report: BSU Geophysics Field Camp Report 2012

Neal Hot Springs (NHS) is an active geothermal site and home to a new binary power plant built by U.S. Geothermal and funded through the Department of Energy. Power production is scheduled to begin in late 2012 and is proposed to generate 25 mega-watts of power to its customer Idaho Power. The project has also served Boise State University as an ideal location for geophysical exploration and research. Research began in spring of 2011 during BSU's annual geophysics field camp. Students and faculty conducted various geophysical surveys to gain insight into the controlling geological structure of the area. Studies of the site continued into 2012 with the monitoring of a passive seismic network, a Controlled-Source Audio-Frequency Magneto-Telluric (CSAMT) survey conducted for the National Student Geothermal Competition, as a research site for graduate students at BSU, and as a chance for me to earn my undergraduate geophysics field credits. As part of the field experience I participated in CSAMT acquisition, conducted a magnetic survey, analyzed vibroseismic data obtained by the 2011 field camp, and continue to monitor and review data from the passive seismic network. It is concluded in this report that magnetic, and vibroseismic data indicate that a large normal fault 5 kilometers east of the power plant and trending from northwest to southeast is the Cottonwood Mountain Fault (CMF). CMF was previously mapped trending in the same direction, but our data suggests that its actual location is approximately 3 kilometers east of its previously mapped location. Magnetic and gravity data confirm the location and trend of the previously mapped Fault A. The CSAMT survey concludes that a portion of the production fault immediately south of the power plant was imaged to a depth of 500 meters and exhibits a volume of low resistivity. This volume is interpreted as a geothermal reservoir within the hanging wall of the production fault. Passive seismic data indicates that the area surrounding NHS exhibits very little natural seismic activity. So far, with over one year's worth of data we have identified two small earthquakes within the vicinity of NHS. It is not confirmed that these events are related to NHS, but both events took place within just kilometers of the seismic network and have not been catalogued by any other network. Furthermore, we have not confirmed any seismic activity induced by the power plant thus far.

Daniel Shaltry

N/A, 2012

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Internet link for BSU Geophysics Field Camp Report 2012

Daniel Shaltry. 2012. BSU Geophysics Field Camp Report 2012. N/A: N/A. Report No.: N/A.

Related Geothermal Exploration Activities
Activities (2)

Areas (1)
  1. Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Area
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