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GMEG - Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center

Geothermal Resource Investigations





Geothermal Resources in Sedimentary Basins

Issue: In addition to conventional hydrothermal resources and EGS, there are several unconventional geothermal resource types that have potential either for electric power generation or reductions in demand for other, nonrenewable, sources of energy. These resources include geopressured geothermal, geothermal resources collocated with oil and gas accumulations, and low to moderate temperature geothermal aquifers. With the flexibility provided by external funding support (see Task 6) Project staff will extend the scope of the current assessment beyond the natural hydrothermal systems of the western United States to the deep, high temperature sedimentary basins of the western and central United States as well as the shallow thermal aquifers, evaluating the potential for thermal energy recovery.

Objectives: Compile data on subsurface temperatures, lithologies and reservoir characteristics for sedimentary basins and identify regions of significant geothermal potential. Project staff will then conduct focused studies on the basins with greatest potential to determine the geologic constraints on geothermal development. The final steps will be to incorporate the results of these investigations in expanded resource assessments, publish the results of the assessments, and place the supporting data and reports online.


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