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Time-lapse magnetotelluric monitoring of an enhanced geothermal system

Jared R. Peacock, Stephan Thiel, Graham S. Heinson and Peter Reid
Time-lapse magnetotelluric monitoring of an enhanced geothermal system
Geophysics (May 2013) 78 (3): B121-B130


Realization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGSs) prescribes the need for novel methods to monitor subsurface fracture connectivity and fluid distribution. Magnetotellurics (MT) is a passive electromagnetic (EM) method sensitive to electrical conductivity contrasts as a function of depth, specifically hot saline fluids in a resistive porous media. In July 2011, an EGS fluid injection at 3.6-km depth near Paralana, South Australia, was monitored by comparing repeated MT surveys before and after hydraulic stimulation. An observable coherent change above measurement error in the MT response was present and causal, in that variations in phase predict variations in apparent resistivity. Phase tensor residuals proved the most useful representation for characterizing alterations in subsurface resistivity structure, whereas resistivity tensor residuals aided in determining the sign and amplitude of resistivity variations. These two tensor representations of the residual MT response suggested fluids migrated toward the northeast of the injection well along an existing fault system trending north-northeast. Forward modeling and concurrent microseismic data support these results, although microseismic data suggest fractures opened along two existing fracture networks trending north-northeast and northeast. This exemplifies the need to use EM methods for monitoring fluid injections due to their sensitivity to conductivity contrasts.

ISSN: 0016-8033
EISSN: 1942-2156
Coden: GPYSA7
Serial Title: Geophysics
Serial Volume: 78
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Time-lapse magnetotelluric monitoring of an enhanced geothermal system
Affiliation: University of Adelaide, South Australian Center for Geothermal Energy Research, Adelaide, South Aust., Australia
Pages: B121-B130
Published: 20130501
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 45
Accession Number: 2013-055613
Categories: Applied geophysicsEconomic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
S30°19'60" - S30°07'60", E139°37'00" - E139°48'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Petratherm, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201334
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