Geothermal Environmental Impact Assessment: Subsurface Environmental Assessment for Four Geothermal Systems

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Geothermal systems are described for Imperial Valley and The Geysers, California; Klamath Falls, Oregon; and the Rio Grande Rift Zone, New Mexico; including information on location, area, depth, temperature, fluid phase and composition, resource base and status of development. The subsurface environmental assessment evaluates potential groundwater degradation, seismicity and subsidence. A general discussion on geothermal systems, pollution potential, chemical characteristics of geothermal fluids and environmental effects of geothermal water pollutants is presented as background material. For the Imperial Valley, all publicly available water quality and location data for geothermal and nongeothermal wells in and near the East Mesa, Salton Sea, ... continued below

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Sanyal, Subir & Weiss, Richard November 1, 1978.

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Description

Geothermal systems are described for Imperial Valley and The Geysers, California; Klamath Falls, Oregon; and the Rio Grande Rift Zone, New Mexico; including information on location, area, depth, temperature, fluid phase and composition, resource base and status of development. The subsurface environmental assessment evaluates potential groundwater degradation, seismicity and subsidence. A general discussion on geothermal systems, pollution potential, chemical characteristics of geothermal fluids and environmental effects of geothermal water pollutants is presented as background material. For the Imperial Valley, all publicly available water quality and location data for geothermal and nongeothermal wells in and near the East Mesa, Salton Sea, Heber, Brawley, Dunes and Glamis KGRAs have been compiled and plotted. The geothermal fluids which will be reinjected range in salinity from a few thousand to more than a quarter million ppm. Although Imperial Valley is a major agricultural center, groundwater use in and near most of these KGRAs is minimal. Extensive seismicity and subsidence monitoring networks have been established in this area of high natural seismicity and subsidence. The vapor-dominated Geysers geothermal field is the largest electricity producer in the world. Groundwater in this mountainous region flows with poor hydraulic continuity in fractured rock. Ground and surface water quality is generally good, but high boron concentrations in hot springs and geothermal effluents is of significant concern; however, spent condensate is reinjected. High microearthquake activity is noted around the geothermal reservoir and potential subsidence effects are considered minimal. In Klamath Falls, geothermal fluids up to 113 C (235 F) are used for space heating, mostly through downhole heat exchangers with only minor, relatively benign, geothermal fluid being produced at the surface. Seismicity is low and is not expected to increase. Subsidence is not recognized. Of all geothermal occurrences in the Rio Grande Rift, the Valles Caldera is currently of primary interest. injection of geothermal effluent from hydrothermal production wells should remove any hydrologic hazard due to some potentially noxious constituents. Waters circulating in the LASL Hot Dry Rock experiment are potable. Seismic effects are expected to be minimal. Subsidence effects could develop.

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  • Report No.: EPA-600/7-78-207
  • Grant Number: None
  • DOI: 10.2172/891870 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 891870
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc876595

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  • November 1, 1978

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:42 p.m.

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Sanyal, Subir & Weiss, Richard. Geothermal Environmental Impact Assessment: Subsurface Environmental Assessment for Four Geothermal Systems, report, November 1, 1978; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc876595/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.