Description: A two-dimensional conceptual model of the East Mesa geothermal system is developed on the basis of the existing geological, geophysical geochemical, heat flux, and borehole logging data. A fault called the Mesa Fault is assumed to charge the reservoir, which is overlaid by a clay-rich cap. The mathematical model :is based on the flow of liquid water in a saturated porous medium. To obtain temperature-depth distributions similar to those measured at the site, we assume that the liquid is convecting at a high Rayleigh number. In this approximation, liquid rises up the fault and spreads into the near regions of the reservoir isothermally. The cooling effect of the surface on the flow in the reservoir is confined to a thin layer adjacent to the cap-reservoir interface near the fault. This layer grows with the distance from the fault. Eventually, the full depth of the reservoir is cooled by the surface. Results are obtained for the velocities, pressures, and temperatures of the entire system (fault zone, aquifer and clay cap). Finally we compare the heat flux predicted for the surface to that measured at the site in shallow wells.
Date: March 1980
Creator: Goyal, K. P. & Kassoy, D. R.
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