Geothermal Energy Resource Assessment of Parts of Alaska

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Journal Article: Geothermal Energy Resource Assessment of Parts of Alaska

Under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Geophysical Institute in cooperation with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys has investigated the geothermal energy potential of several areas in Alaska. This report primarily summarizes the effort of the Geophysical Institute although other personnel and agencies participated in some of the work. Detailed site-specific geological, geophysical and geochemical surveys were carried out in the vicinity of Pilgrim Hot Springs, Alaska in 1979 and 1980. Preliminary test drilling by the State of Alaska confirmed the existence of a near surface reservoir 50 m thick and about 1 km^2 in area with artesian flow at a temperature of 90 degrees Celsius and up to 400 gallons per minute from six inch diameter wells. A state funded exploratory drilling program is now in progress. In 1980 a reconnaissance survey of the central Seward Peninsula revealed evidence of extensive tensional tectonic features suggestive of an incipient rift system. Although no new geothermal resource areas were discovered, the proposed rift model should be useful for future more detailed geothermal studies. In the interior of Alaska, hot springs are typically associated with fracture systems near the margins of granitic plutons. Two areas have been studied in detail: Chena Hot Springs about 96 km east of Fairbanks and Manley Hot Springs for the summer of 1982. In 1981 an extensive helium soil gas sampling program and a gravity survey were carried out in the lower Susitna Basin where several wildcat wells were found to have anomalously high temperatures at accessible depths. The results indicate the presence of discontinuous geothermal reservoirs of about 40 square miles in area in the Willow-Big Lake area, perhaps at depths accessible to water well drilling rigs. Geophysical and geochemical surveys were also carried out in 1981 on Unalaska and Akutan Islands in the Aleutian Islands jointly with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. At Summer Bay on Unalaska a suite of geophysical and soil sampling techniques have outlined a near surface or warm water. At Akutan these techniques discovered a much hotter and more extensive reservoir. Scientific reports on this work will be published under the auspices of the Alaska D.G.G.S. later this year. The scientific reports and papers produced under this program and other Alaskan geothermal studies are listed in Appendices A and B.

Eugene M. Wescott and Donald L. Turner

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Publisher Not Provided, 1982

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Internet link for Geothermal Energy Resource Assessment of Parts of Alaska

Eugene M. Wescott,Donald L. Turner. 1982. Geothermal Energy Resource Assessment of Parts of Alaska. (!) . (!) .

Related Geothermal Exploration Activities
Activities (4)

Areas (1)
  1. Chena Geothermal Area
Regions (0)