Geothermal_Systems

Mexico

Geothermal fields in Mexico have been extensively studied for its geological and tectonic features, geochemistry of the fluids, and the evolution of the power capacity after decades of exploitation and re-injection of used brines. As of now, noble gas studies in these geothermal fields are scarce, with only a few wells having been monitored for He and Ar to study the evolution of fluids as exploitation proceeds. However, recent noble gas work in Los Azufres (Pinti et al., 2013) suggests that noble gases have the potential to provide information capable of enhancing exploitation of geothermal resources.

This study is looking at the noble gas signature and that of other trace elements in four main geothermal fields in Mexico: Los Azufres, Los Humeros, Cerro Pietro and Las Tres Virgenes. The goal of this study is to provide information on the sources of thermal fluids present, spatial distribution of fluid types and subsurface flow paths in addition to understanding temporal variations these exploited geothermal systems are undergoing. This is relevant when brines residual to steam flashing and power production are re-injected into or near the geothermal production reservoir. This is generally done in an attempt to increase the longevity of the geothermal field as an efficient natural energy resource. However, re-injection of cooler used brines leads sometimes to a decrease of power capacity of the geothermal reservoir. Noble gases should be able to assist in achieving better field management and production strategies by providing a reliable and sensitive means to monitor the breakthrough of re-injected fluids.

This project is being carried out in collaboration with our colleagues Dr. Aída López Hernández (Pi) and her research group at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Morelia, Mexico, and co-Pis Professor Daniele Pinti at the University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Dr. Orfan Shouakar-Stash at the University of Waterloo, Canada. It is being funded by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico.

Publications

Noble gases and CO2 origin in the Los Azufres geothermal field (2015), López Hernández A., Pinti D., Castro M.C., Shouakar-Stash O., Hall C.M., Thomas H, Estrada A. Nunez S., Reunión Anual 2015, Union Geofísica Mexicana, Nov. 2 to 7, Ensenada, Mexico.






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M. Clara Castro,
Apr 26, 2017, 7:34 AM
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M. Clara Castro,
Mar 4, 2017, 7:34 AM
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M. Clara Castro,
Apr 26, 2017, 7:34 AM