A seismic noise experiment was conducted in the East Mesa area of Imperial Valley, California, by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in May 1972. There is a pronounced heat flow anomaly over the area, and between July 1972 and the present five deep test wells have been drilled over the anomaly by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1974). At the time of our survey, we were aware of results from a preliminary seismic noise survey in East Mesa by Teledyne Geotech (Douze and Sorrells, 1972). A detailed noise survey was conducted by Teledyne Geotech soon after our experiment (Geothermal Staff of Teledyne Geotech, 1972). Both the Teledyne Geotech surveys show noise levels (in the 3.0 to 5.0 hz band) 12-18 db higher over the area where the thermal gradients and heat flow reach maximum values than in the surroundings. Our results, on the other hand, show that the seismic noise field in the area is dominated by cultural noise, and it is impossible to see a noise anomaly that can be related to the geothermal phenomena in East Mesa. We think that it is important to take into account this disagreement between the two results in order to make a critical evaluation of the utility of seismic noise as a geothermal prospecting tool. The purpose of this note is to put our findings on record.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.