Evidence for the existence of a stable, highly fluidized-pressurized region of deep, jointed crystalline rock from Fenton Hill hot dry rock test data

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It has been demonstrated several times at Los Alamos National Laboratory`s Fenton Hill hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal test site, that large volumes of naturally jointed Precambrian crystalline rock can be stably maintained at pressures considerably above the least principal earth stress in the surrounding rock mass. In particular, for the deeper, larger, and tighter of the two HDR reservoirs tested at this site in the Jemez Mountains of north-central New Mexico, testing was carried out for a cumulative period of 11 months without evidence of fracture extension at the boundaries of the pressure-stimulated region, even though a very high ... continued below

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14 p.

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Brown, D.W. June 1, 1999.

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It has been demonstrated several times at Los Alamos National Laboratory`s Fenton Hill hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal test site, that large volumes of naturally jointed Precambrian crystalline rock can be stably maintained at pressures considerably above the least principal earth stress in the surrounding rock mass. In particular, for the deeper, larger, and tighter of the two HDR reservoirs tested at this site in the Jemez Mountains of north-central New Mexico, testing was carried out for a cumulative period of 11 months without evidence of fracture extension at the boundaries of the pressure-stimulated region, even though a very high reservoir inlet circulating pressure of 27.3 MPa (3960 psi) above hydrostatic was maintained throughout the testing, considerably in excess of the least principal stress in the surrounding rock mass of about 10 MPa above hydrostatic at a depth of 3500 m. The author reviews and summarizes information concerning the earth stresses at depth and the test data relative to the containment of pressurized fluid, particularly the data showing the declining rate of water loss and the absence of microseismicity--the two principal indicators of a stable, pressurized reservoir region. The author then provides a coherent and concise evaluation of this and other evidence supporting his assertion that one can indeed maintain large volumes of jointed rock at pressures considerably in excess of the least principal earth stress. In addition, a discussion is presented concerning the initial state of stress at depth beneath Fenton Hill and then possible changes to the stress state resulting from the very large volumes of injected high-pressure water and the accompanying shear displacements--and shear dilation--associated with these pressurizations.

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14 p.

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OSTI as DE99002726

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  • 24. Stanford workshop on geothermal reservoir engineering, Palo Alto, CA (United States), 25-27 Jan 1999

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  • Other: DE99002726
  • Report No.: LA-UR--99-873
  • Report No.: CONF-990130--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 350852
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc679962

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  • June 1, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 6:26 p.m.

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Brown, D.W. Evidence for the existence of a stable, highly fluidized-pressurized region of deep, jointed crystalline rock from Fenton Hill hot dry rock test data, article, June 1, 1999; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc679962/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.