Accomplishments at the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy


The Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy (GBCGE) has been funded by
DOE since March 2002 to conduct geothermal resource exploration and assessment in
the Great Basin. In that time, those efforts have led to significant advances in understanding
the regional and local conditions necessary for the formation of geothermal
systems. Accomplishments include the development of GPS-based crustal strain rate
measurements as an additional geothermal exploration tool, development of new
methods of detecting geothermal features with remotely sensed imagery, and the
detection of potential extensions to geothermal fields using InSAR measurements of
ground displacement. Regional work with GPS-based measurements of crustal strain,
GIS-based favorability modeling, and deep seismic refraction studies have identified
two areas in central Nevada, at Buffalo Valley and south of Fairview Peak, that have
good geothermal potential but have been incompletely explored to date. Hence, more
detailed work using these techniques, as well as fluid geochemistry, are planned in the
near future to better understand these areas and determine if they are indeed high
potential exploration targets.
On the more local scale, Desert Peak-Bradys geothermal area has been extensively
studied using detailed geologic mapping, gravity, InSAR, Hymap hyperspectral data,
Hg soil gas, and digital field mapping of fumaroles and surface spring deposits in order
to assess and help facilitate development of a possible enhanced geothermal system
(EGS) resource. Significant improvements in the understanding of the structural controls
of the geothermal system have been made with these integrated studies at the
Desert Peak-Bradys fields. All new research data are being integrated into a web-based
geothermal GIS database accessible to the public and interested stakeholders. Maps of
geothermal favorability for the Great Basin are being developed, and estimates of the
remaining undiscovered geothermal resources are being made.

SKU: 2005-77 Category:

Additional information


Primary Author

L. Shevenell



Exploration Method

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Geolophysical Method