Seismic Technology Adapted to Analyzing and Developing Geothermal Systems Below Surface-Exposed High-Velocity Rocks Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Seismic Technology Adapted to Analyzing and Developing Geothermal Systems Below Surface-Exposed High-Velocity Rocks
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Enhanced Geothermal Systems Component Research and Development/Analysis
Project Type / Topic 2 Geophysical Exploration Technologies
Project Description Historically, areas where the Earth surface is covered by an exposed high-velocity rock layer have been locations where conventional, single-component, seismic P-waves have failed to provide usable geological information. The research will use new seismic sources that emphasize shear waves and new seismic data-acquisition technology based on cable-free data recording to acquire seismic research data across two sites covered with surface-exposed highvelocity rocks. Research tasks will involve acquiring, processing, and interpreting both conventional seismic data and multicomponent seismic data. Scientists at BEG will analyze well logs, cores, and reservoir test data to construct geological models of the targeted geology across each study site.
State Texas
Objectives By combining P-wave and S-wave seismic attributes, particularly attributes from the SH shear mode, with appropriate rock physics models, the research team will show how multicomponent seismic technology allows geology across geothermal prospects located beneath high-velocity rock outcrops to be imaged and exploited much better than can be done if a prospect is evaluated with only conventional P-wave seismic data.
Awardees (Company / Institution) The University of Texas at Austin
Awardee Website
Partner 1 AOA Geophysics, Inc.
Partner 2 Ascend Geo, LLC
Partner 3 [- RARE Technology]
Partner 4 Austin Powder Company
Partner 5 GEDCO
Partner 6 Sercel, Inc.

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000075
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,397,170.00
Awardee Cost Share $349,292.00
Total Project Cost $1,746,462.00

Principal Investigator(s) Dr. Rob A. Hardage, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas, Austin

Targets / Milestones The Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) will partner with AOA Geophysical, Ascend Geo, Austin Powder Company, GEDCO, RARE Technology, and Sercel, Inc. to combine multicomponent seismic technology and rock physics modeling that will lead to the ability to image and analyze geothermal systems located beneath surface-exposed high-velocity rocks.

Location of Project Austin, TX

Impacts If successful, the project will provide better imaging of geothermal systems beneath high velocity rocks.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs