Tag Archive | Geothermal

New NBMG Publication – Sparkling or Still? A Tour of Geology from Soda Lakes to Stillwater Marsh, Nevada

Sparkling or Still? A Tour of Geology from Soda Lakes to Stillwater Marsh, Nevada
By Craig M. dePolo, Christopher D. Henry, Andrew V. Zuza, Rachel E. Micander, and James E. Faulds
Year: 2018
Series: Educational Series 63
Format: 25 pages, color
View/purchase: http://pubs.nbmg.unr.edu/Sparkling-or-still-p/e063.htm

Soda Lake Volcanic Maar

Soda Lake. Photo: Rachel Micander

Geoscientists from Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology explained the geology of the Fallon area in celebration of Earth Science Week 2018 and the importance of earth sciences to the people of the state of Nevada.

If you missed this interesting field trip, you can use this guide to explore the area on your own.

Major stops on this field trip will include the following:

  • Salt Wells geothermal power plant
  • Rainbow Mountain earthquake fault scarp
  • “Nevada Wonderstone” rockhounding locality
  • “Big Dig” flood mitigation project in Lahontan Valley
  • Rattlesnake Hill, a “young” (<1 million year old) volcanic cinder cone and lava flow complex overlooking Fallon
  • Soda Lake volcanoes (youngest in Nevada!)

NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—Thursday, October 4

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society (NPGS)
Monthly Dinner Meeting
Thursday, October 4
Speaker: Jim Faulds
Topic: Geothermal Journeys through New Zealand and Nevada: Similarities and Differences in Geothermal Activity between Magmatic and Non-Magmatic Rifts

A message from NPGS: Please join us on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at the Tamarack Junction for cocktails, dinner and lecture by Jim Faulds on “Geothermal Journeys through New Zealand and Nevada: Similarities and Differences in Geothermal Activity between Magmatic and Non-Magmatic Rifts.”

Bio: Jim Faulds is the Nevada State Geologist, Director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG), and Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). NBMG is a research and public service unit of UNR and is the state geological survey of Nevada. Faulds is a structural geologist with 30+ years of experience. He has been with UNR and NBMG since 1997, first as Professor and then serving as NBMG Director since 2012. He earned his B.S. at the University of Montana, M.S. at the University of Arizona, and Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico. He has studied crustal deformation in many parts of the world, including much of the western U.S., western Turkey, and New Zealand. His research has focused on how fault systems initiate and evolve through time. In recent years, he has been analyzing the structural controls and exploration strategies of geothermal systems in the western U.S., Turkey, New Zealand, and elsewhere. He recently returned from sabbatical in New Zealand, where he worked with GNS Science and the University of Canterbury. At Canterbury, he held an Erskine Teaching Fellowship. He has published over 100 papers and dozens of geologic maps on extensional and strike-slip tectonics, as well as the structural controls on geothermal activity. He has also taught courses in structural geology, tectonics, geothermal exploration, and field geology, while serving as advisor for more than 25 graduate students.

Abstract: The Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ) in New Zealand and Great Basin region, USA, represent two premier geothermal provinces on Earth. Both reside in extensional to transtensional settings. The TVZ occupies a dynamic intra-arc rift setting with relatively high rates of extension and voluminous volcanism. The Great Basin region is part of the Basin and Range province and characterized by relatively modest rates of extension and sparse volcanism. Recent magmatism provides heat for many geothermal systems in the TVZ and generates temperatures locally in excess of 300ºC. In contrast, the Great Basin is characterized by non-magmatic geothermal systems with temperatures generally less than 225ºC.

In the Great Basin, nearly 90% of geothermal systems are controlled by four major structural settings: 1) normal fault step-overs or relay ramps; 2) terminations of major normal faults; 3) fault intersections; and 4) accommodation zones. Notably, ~39% of known geothermal systems are blind with no surface hot springs or fumaroles, with estimates suggesting that 75% of geothermal resources are blind. Many blind systems are hidden in basins and obscured by young sediments. Play fairway analysis, whereby multiple geologic and geophysical parameters are combined to identify highly prospective area, holds significant promise of identifying new geothermal systems and reducing the risks of geothermal exploration in this region. This methodology recently resulted in discovery of at least one new blind system.

In the TVZ, similar structural settings (normal fault step-overs, fault tips, and accommodation zones) have been documented for many geothermal fields. Such settings may generally be less impactful, however, in areas of recent magmatism. Structural settings are obscured for some robust systems (e.g. Rotokawa and Wai-O-Tapu) by young volcanic deposits. Active magmatism also produces a suite of additional favorable settings, including dike tips and intersections between normal faults and caldera margins. Blind systems may be relatively common in the TVZ, with impermeable clay caps and thick permeable volcanic deposits at depth precluding venting of some systems. Preliminary maps of favorable structural settings serve as a proxy for potential blind systems in the TVZ. Play fairway analysis, incorporating multiple geologic and geophysical parameters, may ultimately facilitate discovery of new geothermal systems in the TVZ.

Date: Thursday, Oct 4, 2018
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Cocktails at 6:30 pm, hosted by Geo Drilling Fluids
Dinner is served at 7:00 pm
Location: Tamarack Junction
13101 South Virginia Street
Reno, NV  89511

Cocktail Host: This month’s cocktail hour is sponsored by Don Boulet of Geo Drilling Fluids. Thank you Don and Geo Drilling Fluids for your continued support of NPGS!

Pricing – Registration (Sep 20, 2018 – Oct 3, 2018)
Registrant Type and Price
NPGS Member – Prepay, $25.00
NPGS Member – Pay at Door, $28.00
Non-Member – Prepay, $30.00
Non-Member – Pay at Door, $33.00
Student – $15.00

Register for Meeting:

Cancellation Policy: If you wish to cancel your registration, please contact Karen Loomis (karenloomis1@gmail.com) or Tom Gallagher (tomg@nevadawatersolutions.com) so we may have an accurate headcount for food and accommodations. At this time, NPGS is unable to offer refunds for prepaid registration. However, we are happy to provide a credit for future meetings.

Physics Today Article—Bridget Ayling Discusses EGS Potential

Bridget Ayling, Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy and Associate Professor, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, was interviewed for this article in Physics Today.

Engineered Geothermal Systems Have Wide Potential as a Renewable Energy Source

Physics Today 71, 9, 22 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.4017
“What will it take to put geothermal energy to use on a large scale? Iceland uses it nearly exclusively for heat and hot water and for about a fifth of its electricity (see related story on page 26). Many countries have geothermal projects. But the vast stores of heat deep beneath Earth’s surface remain largely untapped. “If we can unlock the technologies to make extracting heat in the subsurface technically and commercially viable on a large scale, the promise is huge,” says Bridget Ayling, director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy at the University of Nevada, Reno. That’s why, she adds, “despite only incremental gains over the last 40 years, the geothermal community continues to pursue engineered geothermal systems,” or EGS, also known as enhanced geothermal systems.” –from Physics Today 71, 9, 22 (2018)

Read entire article here:

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society Monthly Dinner Meeting: Thursday, March 1, 2018

  Emma McConville, Graduate Student, Geologist, UNR, Reno, NV
TOPIC:  Applications of the Play Fairway Analysis for Geothermal Systems in Crescent Valley, Eureka County, Nevada
ABSTRACT: Crescent Valley received one of the highest favorability scores in phase I of the DOE-sponsored Nevada play fairway analysis project and was therefore selected for detailed study in phase II. As part of the detailed study, geological, geochemical, and geophysical data were collected, synthesized, and analyzed to identify favorable structural settings for geothermal fluids in the basin. A total of nine favorable structural settings were identified. Two host known geothermal systems, and six could potentially host blind geothermal systems. In phase II a predictive geothermal potential model was conducted for each favorable structural setting. The highest-ranking areas in Crescent Valley are in the Dann Hot Springs step-over (relay ramp), followed by the two northern step-overs along the Cortez Mountains front, as well as a fault intersection at Hot Springs Point.

BIO: Emma McConville – Graduate Student, Geologist – UNR, Reno, NV
Emma was born in Barcelona, Spain and grew up throughout Latin America. When she was twelve years old she visited El Tatio Geysers in Chile and immediately became fascinated with geothermal energy and energy policy. In 2012 her interests landed her at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA, where she double majored and earned a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). After college, she worked at Endeavor Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar where she started the Endeavor Investor Network and coordinated the largest international private investment event in Mexico to date. Emma had the opportunity to explore the corners of Mexico and her travels reignited her love of the outdoors and geology. In 2013 she decided to refocus her career path and become a geologist. Emma earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD where she was chosen to be the student speaker for the commencement ceremony for the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. During her time at the University of Maryland she interned at the Geothermal Energy Association, was awarded the NAGT-USGS internship in Menlo Park, CA, and was the coordinator of Girls Excelling in Math and Science, an afternoon program geared towards encouraging middle school girls to take an interest in STEM. In 2016, Emma began her graduate studies under the guidance of Jim Faulds and plans to earn her M.Sc. in Geology this upcoming summer. Emma has been offered a position as a geologist at ExxonMobil and will be moving to Houston, TX after completing her studies.

LOCATION: Tamarack Junction, Reno, NV
13101 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511

Cocktail Reception 6:30 PM; Dinner Served at 7:00 PM
NPGS Members $25-$28; Non-Members $30-$33; Students $15

Please use this link to RSVP by Tuesday, Feb 27:

If you must cancel your reservation, please contact Jake Zachry, jzachry@kecorp.us or Tom Gallagher, tomg@nevadawatersolutions.com

Upcoming Meeting Dates:

Thursday, April 5
Vincent Ramirez, 3PL Operating, Inc.
Lake Livada and Other Lithium Exploration Activities in Nevada

Thursday, May 3
Jason Craig, UNR
Gabbs Valley – Blind Geothermal Prospect

NPGS Monthly Meeting—Monday February 5

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Monthly Dinner Meeting
Monday, February 5, 2018
SPEAKERS:  John Menghini, BLM, Reno, NV and Lowell Price, NDOM, Carson City, NV
TOPIC:  “State-of-the-State: An Update on Geothermal, Dissolved Minerals (Lithium in Brine), and Oil & Gas Exploration and Development in Nevada”

Please join us on Monday, February 5 2018 at the Tamarack Junction for a State of the State presentation. Lowell Price with Nevada Division of Minerals and John Menghini from the BLM Nevada State Office will discuss oil, gas and geothermal issues in the Silver State.

John MenghiniUS DOI Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Oil and Gas Program Lead.  John has worked in the Nevada State Office, Reno Nevada since 2003.  He provides oversight for all oil and gas operations and technical expertise for all fluid-related development in the state of Nevada.  John is involved not only with the oil and gas program, but as a technical operations specialist for the Geothermal Program.  He has a wide range of knowledge with all aspects of the federal requirements dealing with permitting and unitization agreements including lease suspensions, unavoidable delay requests, paying well determination and establishment/revisions of participating areas.  Because of the limited size of Nevada’s oil and gas program, he is involved in every aspect of the development and support of the fluids program for all District Offices in Nevada.

John graduated from the University of Wyoming with a BS in Petroleum Engineering.  After working a few years in the oil and gas industry, John decided that a little business knowledge would be helpful.  John returned to University of Wyoming, where he graduated with his second degree in Business Management.  John then went to work for the BLM in 1989 in Rawlins, Wyoming as a staff Petroleum Engineer.  In 1993, John transferred to Casper where he worked for the Reservoir Management Group in units and drainage.  In 1995 he moved to the Platte River Resource Area as the Lead Petroleum Engineer for that office.  Later this office became the Casper District, and John stayed there until his move to the Nevada State Office in 2003, where he has worked since that time. John will have 29 years in with the BLM this February.

Lowell Price—Nevada Division of Minerals, Fluid Minerals Program Manager. Received BSc in Geology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

1978 to 1986: Eight years in oil and gas exploration with Amoco International Oil Company. Exploration geologist specializing in thrusted terrains. Primary areas of work were onshore Oman and the United Arab Emirates (Oman Mountains Thrust System). Worked on Rocky Mountain Thrust System structural projects for Amoco Denver for one year (on loan from Amoco International) in western Wyoming and southeastern Idaho. Also worked the Gulf of Suez, onshore Tunisia, offshore Morocco, and offshore Gabon, all extensional structural targets, and a calci-turbidite stratigraphic play in onshore Abu Dhabi.

1987 to 1998: Twelve years in precious metals exploration. Worked as a contract geologist for six years for multiple companies, such as Freeport-McMoRan, Tenneco Minerals, Chevron Minerals, and Morrison Knudsen, running large exploration drilling programs, as well as mapping and sampling project areas, in Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, and Oregon. Worked as an exploration geologist for Independence Mining for six years in the Independence Range and the Bull Run Mountains, both located in northeastern Nevada.

1998 to 2000: Two years as a partner in Dray & Price Exploration. Worked as an exploration geologist evaluating areas within the northern Rockies and basins along the eastern margin of the northern Rockies for potential oil and gas plays.

2000 to 2008: Eight years working wellsite geology in Nevada, California, Alaska, Belize, and Guatemala, in both oil/gas and geothermal drilling operations.

2008 to present day: Nine plus years as the Fluid Minerals Program Manager with the Nevada Division of Minerals. Primary work is the review of all oil/gas, geothermal, and dissolved mineral permit applications and drilling programs, as well as sundry notices related to the oil/gas and geothermal industries. Have worked as one of the many team members in revising and developing regulations for all three industries, such as regulations developed for hydraulic fracturing in 2014 and the new dissolved mineral resources exploration draft regulations in 2017 and 2018. Oversee all drilling operations for the Division, as well as perform wellsite inspections for the approximate 580 oil/gas and geothermal related wells in Nevada.

LOCATION: Tamarack Junction, Reno, NV
13101 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511
Cocktail Reception 6:30 PM; Dinner Served at 7:00 PM
NPGS Members $25-$28; Non-Members $30-$33; Students $15

RSVP for the Dinner Meeting by Friday, February 2, with the following link:

If you must cancel your reservation, please contact Jake Zachry, jzachry@kecorp.us or Tom Gallagher, tomg@nevadawatersolutions.com

Upcoming NPGS Meeting Dates:

  • Thursday, March 1: Emma McConville (UNR), Assessment of the Geothermal Potential of Crescent Valley, North-Central Nevada
  • Thursday, April 5: Vincent Ramirez (ReXplore), Lake Livada and Other Lithium Exploration Activities in Nevada
  • Thursday, May 3: Jake Zachry (Krummrich Engineering), Natural Gas Storage Well Integrity and API RP 1171

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society Monthly Dinner Meeting

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society
Monthly Dinner Meeting
Thursday, January 11, 2018

LOCATION: Tamarack Junction, Reno, NV
13101 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511

Please use this link to RSVP by Tuesday, Jan 9:

If you must cancel your reservation, please contact Jake Zachry, jzachry@kecorp.us or Tom Gallagher, tomg@nevadawatersolutions.com

SPEAKER:    Chris Reede, Omat Nevada, Reno, NV
TOPIC:     Artificial Lift in Geothermal Applications
Cocktail Reception 6:30 PM; Dinner Served at 7:00 PM
NPGS Members $25-$28; Non-Members $30-$33; Students $15


Upcoming Meeting Dates, NOTE FEB DATE CHANGE

***Monday, Feb 5    Lowell Price, NDOM & John Menghini, BLM: State of the State

Thursday, March 1 Emma McConville, UNR: Assessment of the Geothermal Potential of Crescent Valley, North-Central Nevada

Thursday, April 5 Vincent Ramirez, ReXplore: Tertiary surface deformation in Nevada caused by obduction tectonics across the Cordillera

Thursday, May 3 Jake Zachry, Krummrich Engineering: Natural Gas Storage Well Integrity and API RP 1171

NPGS Monthly Dinner Meeting—October 5—RSVP by Tues October 3:

Nevada Petroleum and Geothermal Society Monthly Dinner Meeting
SPEAKER:  Chris Ellis, VP & General Manager, Coso Operating Co., LLC
TOPIC:  Coso Geothermal Power Plant
DATE:  Thursday, October 5, 2017

ABSTRACT:  Brief geothermal introduction with an overview of the Coso facility, including a discussion of some of the issues, problems and solutions that have been encountered and managed.

BIOGRAPHY:  Christopher Ellis is Vice President and General Manager for Coso Operating Company, has been at the Coso Project since 1988.  During his tenure, he has held various positions with the company encompassing all aspects of facility operations, maintenance, construction, and administration.  He was directly involved in the start-up on eight of the nine power plants at Coso.  He obtained his formal training and education in the US Navy’s Nuclear Power Program after attending the University of Arizona.

He currently serves as President for the Boards of the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce and The Geothermal (a non-profit fund raising organization), and is a board member of the East Kern Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board, Indian Wells Valley Economic Development Corporation and The Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.

Tamarack Junction
13101 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511
(775) 852-3600

Cocktail Reception 6:30 PM; Dinner Served at 7:00 PM
NPGS Members $20; Non-Members $23; Students $10

Thank you to our contributing sponsors for the dinner and cocktail reception: Premier Oilfield Service and Sinclair Well Products and Services.

RSVP is very important for an accurate count at this new venue.

Please RSVP with the following link by Tuesday, October 3:

If you find that you cannot attend, please email Vicki Ehni at vehni@aol.com or call at 775-720-6387.
NPGS will be charged for no-shows. Thank you for your consideration.