Archive | August 2017

Job Announcements from BLM

We are pleased to announce new, exciting positions available at BLM – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT.   It is our hope that qualified, career oriented individuals at your organization or other professionals known to you will actively consider this position and apply accordingly.  Efforts on your part to disseminate this information are greatly appreciated.

Job Description:  Petroleum Engineer
Announcement Number:  MT-DEU-2017-0067
Location(s) of position:  Billings, MT, US
Salary:  (USD) $47,735 – (USD) $110,080
Applications will be accepted until:  08/29/2017
For additional information on this job posting, please click here.

Job Description:  Engineering Technician (Civil)
Announcement Number:  UT-DEU-2017-0047
Location(s) of position:  Cedar City, UT, US
Salary:  (USD) $40,684 – (USD) $64,697
Applications will be accepted until:  08/31/2017
For additional information on this job posting, please click here.

Job Description:  IT Specialist (Customer Support)
Announcement Number:  NOC Merit-2017-0072
Location(s) of position:  Fairbanks, AK, US
Salary:  (USD) $55,560 – (USD) $98,044
Applications will be accepted until:  09/07/2017
For additional information on this job posting, please click here.

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New Geologic Map—Red Ridge Area, Churchill and Mineral Counties

Preliminary Geologic Map of the Red Ridge Area, Churchill and Mineral Counties, Nevada
Author: Chad W. Carlson
Year: 2017
Series: Open-File Report 2017-02
Format: plate: 35.5 x 28 inches, color; text: 7 pages, color
Scale: 1:24,000
Free download/purchase: http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Prel-geol-Red-Ridge-area-p/of2017-02.htm

The Walker Lane accommodates dextral motion between the northwest translating Sierra Nevada microplate to the west and Basin and Range extension to the east. A significant portion of dextral shear in the central Walker Lane is accommodated on left-stepping, en echelon, northwest-striking fault systems that compose the Walker Lake domain. Northwest of these dextral faults, strain is transferred to sinistral faults accommodating oroclinal flexure and clockwise-rotation of blocks in the Carson domain of the northern Walker Lane. Positioned at the northern terminus of the Walker Lake domain, the Red Ridge area resides southeast and in right-lateral separation across the Benton Spring fault from the Terrill Mountains. The thick Oligocene to late Miocene volcanic strata of the Red Ridge area provide opportunity to examine Tertiary strata and styles of deformation and correlate to results of recent geologic mapping completed in the adjacent Terrill Mountains quadrangle. Detailed geologic mapping of the Red Ridge area was completed to help elucidate the Neogene styles of, and transitions in, strain accommodation for this region of the Walker Lane.

Geologic mapping of the Red Ridge area greatly elucidated the stratigraphic and structural framework of Red Ridge and expanded understanding of deformation at the northern termination of the Walker Lake domain. The Tertiary strata included late Oligocene ash-flow tuffs and Miocene volcanic rocks correlated to, and dextrally offset from, Terrill Mountains stratigraphy. Several ash-flow tuffs correlate with regionally extensive units and provide opportunity for future paleomagnetic study. Similar to the southern Terrill Mountains, northeasterly-striking normal faults appear kinematically linked to major northwest-striking dextral faults and accommodate diffusion of dextral strain and basin development. The detailed mapping of the Red Ridge area has provided a firm foundation for future structural analysis and paleomagnetic study of the region.

This map was partially funded by the National Science Foundation.

New Geologic Map—Bradys Geothermal Area, Churchill County

Preliminary Geologic Map of the Bradys Geothermal Area, Churchill County, Nevada
Authors: James E. Faulds, Alan R. Ramelli, Mark F. Coolbaugh, Nicholas H. Hinz, Larry J. Garside, and John H. Queen
Year: 2017
Series: Open-File Report 2017-04
Format: plate: 51 x 39 inches, color, with cross sections; text: 6 pages, color
Scale: 1:12,000
Free download/purchase: http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Prel-geol-Bradys-geothermal-p/of2017-04.htm

The Bradys geothermal field lies in the northern Hot Springs Mountains ~80 km northeast of Reno in Churchill County, Nevada.  The field has a reservoir temperature of 180-193°C at 1- to 2-km depth and currently supports a combined dual flash and binary geothermal power plant with a total installed capacity of 26 MWe, as well as a vegetable dehydration plant.  The power plant has been in operation since 1992.  The detailed geologic map and cross sections of the Bradys geothermal field illustrate the linkages between permeability and a complex structural setting dominated by a left step in a normal fault zone but also including several fault intersections within a broader accommodation zone.  Seismic reflection data and re-logging of cuttings and core from 34 wells were incorporated into the cross sections.  A previously published 1:24,000-scale geologic map of the Desert Peak quadrangle only included the easternmost part of the Bradys geothermal field.  The purpose of this map is to show the entire geothermal field at a finer scale (1:12,000) sufficient to illustrate multiple geothermal features, such as the complex faulting, sinter, warm ground, and fumaroles.  Unpublished versions of this map and cross sections have served as the foundation for previously published, 3D structural modeling and 3D gravity inversion of the Bradys geothermal field.

This project was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Ormat Technologies, Inc., and the U.S. Geological Survey STATEMAP Program.

The Geothermal Technologies Office Announces Play Fairway Analysis Phase III Selections

The Geothermal Technologies Office Announces Play Fairway Analysis Phase III Selections

Release from the US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (July 20, 2017):
https://energy.gov/eere/geothermal/articles/geothermal-technologies-office-announces-play-fairway-analysis-phase-iii

“The U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) announced it will continue funding for 5 projects aligned with Phase III Play Fairway Analysis (PFA) activities. GTO will award up to $5 million in additional funding to five of the original 11 projects from the 2014 PFA Funding Opportunity Announcement. The awards will address the overarching theme of uncertainty quantification and reduction in geothermal exploration, specifically through the development of Geothermal Play Fairways.

The concept of “play fairway analysis” has been used to identify potential locations of blind hydrothermal systems in the western U.S. A play fairway analysis defines levels of uncertainty with respect to the presence and utility of geothermal system elements, and translates them into maps to high grade the geographic area over which the most favorable combinations of heat, permeability, and fluid are thought to exist. Phase III moves the projects into an exploratory drilling campaign that will test the Phase I and II developed models’ ability to discover new resources. Once identified, hydrothermal resources can be brought online quickly with current technologies, supporting the near-term expansion of renewable energy in America.

This systematic approach early in the exploration process can reduce costly drilling and improve the probability of successfully tapping the vital mix of high temperatures and sufficient water flow necessary to generate electricity from geothermal energy. By improving success rates for exploration drilling, this data-mapping tool will help attract investment in geothermal projects and significantly lower the costs of geothermal energy.

The selected Phase III awardees are:

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada‐Reno – Reno, Nevada
Utah State University – Logan, Utah
University of Hawaii – Honolulu, Hawaii
University of Utah – EGI Great Basin – Salt Lake City, Utah
Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources – Olympia, Washington”

Drilling to Begin in University’s Great Basin Geothermal Exploration Project

Drilling to Begin in University’s Great Basin Geothermal Exploration Project:
Led by Jim Faulds and NBMG
College of Science Receives $1.5 Million from DOE for Phase III of Project to Find “Blind” Systems

Nevada Today, 8/14/2017, by Mike Wolterbeek
https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2017/geothermal-drilling

“The University of Nevada, Reno received funding to begin drilling geothermal test wells this fall in the final phase of a multi-year research project to refine exploration strategies and reduce the risks in developing new geothermal systems capable of producing commercial electricity in Nevada’s Great Basin.

In July, the Department of Energy announced funding for the continuation of the Nevada Play Fairway Project, which seeks to find geographic areas over which the most favorable combinations of heat, permeability and fluid are thought to exist, but no obvious surface signs would indicate an underground geothermal reservoir. These are known as “blind” or “hidden” geothermal systems and are thought to represent the bulk of the region’s geothermal resources. These blind systems don’t have wet marshy areas or other surface clues, such as hot springs or fumaroles spouting steam.

Phase III moves the project into an exploratory drilling campaign that will test the ability of the models developed in Phase I and II to discover new resources. The University, through their Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, received $1.5 million from the DOE to finish the third and final phase of the renewable energy project.

“We’re excited to be chosen to continue this work,” Jim Faulds, lead scientist on the project and director of the University’s Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, said. “We are striving to improve exploration strategies for conventional geothermal systems in order to facilitate development of new geothermal power plants at reduced risks and costs to the geothermal industry.”

The Play Fairway project, administered by the DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office, has the promise of yielding significant results to target geothermal well sites with temperatures greater than 130 degrees Celsius (266oF), the typical temperature for a productive well to produce electricity. The project seeks to identify new, economically viable geothermal systems in the state. Geothermal is truly renewable energy. Conventional geothermal systems extract the hot water from underground, exchange the heat and return the fluid back underground.

“There is potential in the Great Basin for much greater amounts of geothermal energy than the current 670 MW produced from the 25 power plants already in place,” Faulds said. “The geothermal wealth of this region can be attributed to its active faulting, which allows hot fluids to rise more quickly to levels accessible through drilling.  The Play Fairway project can potentially provide a catalyst for accelerating geothermal development in the region.”

“Due to its tectonic setting, Nevada is richly endowed in geothermal resources,” Faulds, who is also the Nevada State Geologist and a professor in the University’s College of Science, said. “However, many of the obvious sites, for example near surface hot springs, have already been discovered. Because most of the geothermal resources in the Great Basin region are blind, it’s important to characterize the favorable characteristics of the known systems and then utilize that information to discover new systems hidden beneath the surface.”

Mapping Renewable Energy

The Play Fairway Project began in 2015 with mapping and analysis of a 40,000 square mile section of the Nevada Great Basin, which identified a few hundred viable sites for geothermal activity using nine critical parameters. In the second phase of the study, Faulds and his team – which includes several other faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at the University – scoured their geothermal potential map and narrowed the study to 24 of the most promising sites in several areas and then narrowed that to five particularly promising areas. They found evidence for commercial-grade geothermal systems at all five of these sites. Phase III will now test their methodologies with drilling at two or possibly three of these sites.

To choose the final sites for drilling, the team looked at proximity to existing electrical transmission corridors, excluded sensitive habitat and wilderness areas, and reviewed permeability factors and other geological, geophysical and geochemical features indicative of geothermal activity.

“In Phase III, we’ll do the drilling to test the methodologies that we’ve used in phases one and two,” Faulds said. “We’ll be drilling temperature gradient wells, to see if we have hot water, from about 500 to 750 feet deep. Full development of a geothermal system usually requires drilling to much greater depths (a mile or more) and is much more expensive, but the presence of commercial-grade systems can usually be identified at 500 to 750 feet deep. If proven, this play fairway methodology then can be adopted by companies and they can invest in exploration and development with more confidence.”

The first two drilling sites are in northern Granite Springs Valley, about 25 miles west of Lovelock, and in southern Gabbs Valley, southwest of the town of Gabbs. The other sites are in the Sou Hills just north of Dixie Valley, Crescent Valley and Steptoe Valley. The team will initiate drilling this fall and finish by the end of next summer. They will also complete new geophysical surveys, with the nine attributes as a guide. The final report is scheduled to be complete in March 2019.

Other institutions selected to continue their Play Fairway project are Utah State University, University of Hawaii, University of Utah and Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources.

“The work conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno under the Play Fairway program has resulted in the advancement of geothermal exploration technologies and the discovery of several new and exciting geothermal prospects within the Great Basin,” Michael Weathers, Technology Manager with the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office, said. “This work has delivered a blueprint for managing risk in geothermal exploration that can be applied beyond the Great Basin to expand our domestic energy resources. GTO looks forward to monitoring this methodology as it is validated in the upcoming drilling phase of the project and the eventual adoption by others in the geothermal industry.”

NBMG New Open Data Site

As Nevada’s state geological survey, the creation of map services and datasets have been an important part of our modernization and organization. Many of these datasets are freely available, and in an effort to better disseminate these data, we have created an Open Data site for the public to search and download GIS data. This platform will eventually replace the existing Maps & Data page on the NBMG website. The NBMG Open Data site also contains links to web applications, publications, additional resources, and other GIS data freely available throughout the state (e.g., NDOM, NSL, NDEP, BLM, NDOW, County etc.—where available). NBMG GIS datasets can be searched for and downloaded within this new platform. Datasets can be downloaded as CSV files, KML, or ESRI shapefiles. We invite you to explore the NBMG Open Data site here: https://data-nbmg.opendata.arcgis.com/

We are working to make our datasets more easily accessible to the public, contractors, and companies alike in the attempt to further collaboration and scientific research. This Open Data site will help us distribute and share these freely available datasets. Please note that we are also working to catalog and expand our network of freely available datasets including geothermal data, DEMs, air photos and imagery, and geologic data (including fault and earthquake data). Please be patient as we work to grow and distribute these data. As we move forward, this Open Data site will always reflect the most current data we have at NBMG.

If you have questions regarding this new platform, please contact NBMG at nbmg@unr.edu. We will also be presenting the Open Data site at the NBMG Advisory Board meeting on August 17, 2017.

Geothermal Activity Book (Grades 4–8)— Updated Version Available

Geothermal Activity Book (Grades 48)Updated Version Available

This fun activity book for grades 4–8 has been updated by the Nevada Division of Minerals.

Geothermal Resources in Nevada: Activity Book 2015
http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Geothermal-in-NV-grades-4-8-p/e007.htm