Variation of Fracturing Pressures with Depth Near the Valles Caldera

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Hydraulic Fracturing at the Fenton Hill Hot Dry Rock Geothermal site near the Valles Caldera has yielded fracturing pressures from 14 to 81 MPa (2030 to 11,750 psi) at depths ranging from 0.7 to 4.4 km (2250 to 14,400 ft). This data can be fit to a fracture gradient of 19 MPa/km (0.84 psi/ft), except for an anomalous region between 2.6 to 3.2 km where fracturing pressures are about 20 MPa lower than estiamted using the above gradient. This anomaly coincides with a biotite granodiorite intrusive emplaced into a heterogeneous jointed metamorphic complex comprised of gneisses, schists and metavolcanic rocks. ... continued below

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397-402

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Dash, Zora & Murphy, Hugh December 15, 1983.

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Hydraulic Fracturing at the Fenton Hill Hot Dry Rock Geothermal site near the Valles Caldera has yielded fracturing pressures from 14 to 81 MPa (2030 to 11,750 psi) at depths ranging from 0.7 to 4.4 km (2250 to 14,400 ft). This data can be fit to a fracture gradient of 19 MPa/km (0.84 psi/ft), except for an anomalous region between 2.6 to 3.2 km where fracturing pressures are about 20 MPa lower than estiamted using the above gradient. This anomaly coincides with a biotite granodiorite intrusive emplaced into a heterogeneous jointed metamorphic complex comprised of gneisses, schists and metavolcanic rocks. Microseismic events detected with sensitive downhole geophones suggest that shear failure is an important process during hydraulic fracturing of such jointed rock. Consequently the usual relation between minimum earth stress and fracture opening pressure, based upon classic tensile failure, cannot be used apriori; fracture opening pressure is instead a complex function of joint orientation and all three components of principal earth stress.

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397-402

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  • Proceedings, Ninth Workshop Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford Calif., December 13-15, 1983

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  • Report No.: SGP-TR-74-53
  • Grant Number: AT03-80SF11459
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 889771
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874781

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  • December 15, 1983

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 12:31 p.m.

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Dash, Zora & Murphy, Hugh. Variation of Fracturing Pressures with Depth Near the Valles Caldera, article, December 15, 1983; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874781/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.