Description: Numerical simulators developed for geothermal reservoir engineering applications generally only consider systems which are saturated with liquid water and/or steam. However, most geothermal fields are in hydraulic communicatino with shallow ground water aquifers having free surface (water level), so that production or injection operations will cause movement of the surface, and of the air in the pore spaces above the water level. In some geothermal fields the water level is located hundreds of meters below the surface (e.g. Olkaria, Kenya; Bjornsson, 1978), so that an extensive so that an extensive unsaturated zone is present. In other the caprock may be very leaky or nonexistent [e.g., Klamath Falls, oregon (Sammel, 1976)]; Cerro Prieto, Mexico; (Grant et al., 1984) in which case ther eis good hydraulic communication between the geothermal reservoir and the shallow unconfined aquifers. Thus, there is a need to explore the effect of shallow free-surface aquifers on reservoir behavior during production or injection operations. In a free-surface aquifer the water table moves depending upon the rate of recharge or discharge. This results in a high overall storativity; typically two orders of magnitude higher than that of compressed liquid systems, but one or two orders of magnitude lower than that for liquid-steam reservoirs. As a consequence, various data analysis methods developed for compressed liquid aquifers (such as conventional well test analysis methods) are not applicable to aquifer with a free surface.
Date: December 15, 1983
Creator: Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S. & Pruess, K.
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