Fluid Imaging of Enhanced Geothermal Systems through Joint 3D Geophysical Inverse Modeling Geothermal Lab Call Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Fluid Imaging of Enhanced Geothermal Systems through Joint 3D Geophysical Inverse Modeling
Project Type / Topic 1 Laboratory Call for Submission of Applications for Research, Development and Analysis of Geothermal Technologies
Project Type / Topic 2 Fluid Imaging
Project Description EGS has been defined as enhanced reservoirs that have been created to extract economical amounts of heat from low permeability and/or porosity geothermal resources. Critical to the success of EGS is the successful manipulation of fluids in the subsurface to enhance permeability. Knowledge in the change in volume and location of fluids in the rocks and fractures (both natural and induced) will be needed to manage injection strategies such as the number and location of step out wells, in-fill wells and the ratio of injection to production wells. The key difficulty in manipulating fluids has been our inability to reliably predict their locations, movements and concentrations. We believe combining data from MEQ and electrical surveys has the potential to overcome these problems and can meet many of the above needs, economically. Induced seismicity is currently viewed as one of the essential methods for inferring the success of creating fracture permeability and fluid paths during large scale EGS injections. Fluids are obviously playing a critical role in inducing the seismicity, however, other effects such as thermal, geochemical and stress redistribution, etc. may also play a role.
State California
Objectives Determine the feasibility of jointly using data from micro earthquake (MEQ) and electrical surveys to image the fluid distribution within Enhanced Geothermal Systems.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-PS36-09GO99017
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,025,000.00
Total Project Cost $1,025,000.00

Principal Investigator(s) Gregory Newman
Other Principal Investigators Ernie Majer
Targets / Milestones The project will be broken into the following main phases:

- Implement the joint imaging tools and perform modeling work on test data, including existing field data to clearly quantify the sensitivity of joint inversions to changes in fluid saturations.
- Proceed to collecting data at an EGS site for testing the joint imaging process as well as providing a baseline study of an EGS site before a large scale injection.
- Collect data during and after a large EGS injection to map fluid attributes.

Location of Project Berkeley, CA
37.8717°, -122.2728°

Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs