Modern and Ancient Geothermal Systems: Virginia City, San Emidio, Steamboat, Nevada




Donald M. Hudson, Consultant
W. Randy Henkle, Henkle & Associates
Field Trip 8 takes us the first day to one of the most famous epithermal precious metal camps in the country. The Comstock District hosts several superimposed hydrothermal systems, both high sulfidation and intermediate sulfidation. Several overlapping magmatic systems with their consanguineous hydrothermal systems combined with episodic faulting created complex geologic setting. Our tour will look at these overlapping systems and examine characteristics common and distinct to each system, as well as discuss some of the questions remaining about the origins of each system.
The second day, we will visit two active geothermal districts which are presently be exploited for commercial electricity production. In the morning, we will visit the San Emidio geothermal district and observe some of the structural and hydrothermal alteration aspects of the geology, as well as an explanation of the engineering aspects of the power plant.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Steamboat Geothermal Complex, which is, as of 2010, Nevada’s largest producing complex (~ 100 MW). The visit will entail 8 separate stops: two of the power plants; the Main Sinter Terrace; and two injection well pads. Details of the structural geology and of active hydrothermal alteration will be discussed at each of the stops.

SKU: 10FT8 Category:

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Geologic Characteristic 1