Coupling Geophysical Investigation with Hydrothermal Modeling to Constrain the Enthalpy Classification of a Potential Geothermal Resource
Geophysical inversion, Hydrothermal modeling, Armenia, Distributed volcanism, Karckar, Gravity
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
An appreciable challenge in volcanology and geothermal resource development is to understand the relationships between volcanic systems and low-enthalpy geothermal resources. The enthalpy of an undeveloped geothermal resource in the Karckar region of Armenia is investigated by coupling geophysical and hydrothermal modeling. The results of 3-dimensional inversion of gravity data provide key inputs into a hydrothermal circulation model of the system and associated hot springs, which is used to evaluate possible geothermal system configurations. Hydraulic and thermal properties are specified using maximum a priori estimates. Limited constraints provided by temperature data collected from an existing down-gradient borehole indicate that the geothermal system can most likely be classified as low-enthalpy and liquid dominated. We find the heat source for the system is likely cooling quartz monzonite intrusions in the shallow subsurface and that meteoric recharge in the pull-apart basin circulates to depth, rises along basin-bounding faults and discharges at the hot springs. While other combinations of subsurface properties and geothermal system configurations may fit the temperature distribution equally well, we demonstrate that the low-enthalpy system is reasonably explained based largely on interpretation of surface geophysical data and relatively simple models.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 298, p. 59-70
Scholar Commons Citation
White, J. T.; Karakhanian, A.; Connor, Charles B.; Connor, Laura J.; Hughes, J. D.; Malservisi, Rocco; and Wetmore, Paul, "Coupling Geophysical Investigation with Hydrothermal Modeling to Constrain the Enthalpy Classification of a Potential Geothermal Resource" (2015). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1672.