Large-Scale Geothermal Field Parameters and Convection Theory

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The question of the depth reached by groundwater in natural recharge to a geothermal field is of interest for geothermal development, since it can affect the nature of the recharge regime during withdrawal, and the volume of water within reach during exploitation. Also, useful inferences may be drawn about the large-scale permeability of the system if the groundwater flow regime is understood. Evidence for the presence of thermal convection in the groundwater now appears to be well-established, although topographic effects may also be important (Studt and Thompson 1969, Healy and Hochstein 1973). Two regions which serve particularly well as illustrations ... continued below

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339-345

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Wooding, R.A. December 1, 1976.

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Description

The question of the depth reached by groundwater in natural recharge to a geothermal field is of interest for geothermal development, since it can affect the nature of the recharge regime during withdrawal, and the volume of water within reach during exploitation. Also, useful inferences may be drawn about the large-scale permeability of the system if the groundwater flow regime is understood. Evidence for the presence of thermal convection in the groundwater now appears to be well-established, although topographic effects may also be important (Studt and Thompson 1969, Healy and Hochstein 1973). Two regions which serve particularly well as illustrations are (1) the Imperial Valley of Southern California and (2) the Taupo Volcanic Zone of New Zealand. Both exhibit a number of quite well-defined zones of anomalously high heat flow (geothermal fields), separated by distances of 10 to 15 Km, the intervening areas usually having very low heat flow. In (1) the upper flow boundary is practically impermeable while, in (2), flow through the upper boundary is almost unimpeded. Idealized conditions which correspond approximately to these cases were introduced by Lapwood (1948); these will be designated as boundary conditions 1 and 2 respectively. This paper discusses the magnitudes of convection parameters, extensions of Lapwood’s work, the departure of permeable media in geothermal areas from simple homogeneous isotropic systems, and stability analysis for boundary conditions 1 and 2 from convection theory. 11 refs., 1 fig.

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339-345

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  • Proceedings Second Workshop Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., December 1-3, 1976

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  • Report No.: SGP-TR-20-44
  • Grant Number: E043-326-PA-50
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 887415
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874748

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 1, 1976

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 6:12 p.m.

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Wooding, R.A. Large-Scale Geothermal Field Parameters and Convection Theory, article, December 1, 1976; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874748/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.