National Research Program

Modeling and Monitoring Heat and Fluid Flow in Geothermal Systems

Analysis of heat and fluid flow in geothermal systems is needed to adequately describe both the natural state of such systems and their response to fluid production for energy development. The analysis may involve analytical or numerical solution techniques, but requires delineation of realistic conceptual models for specific geothermal systems. This, in turn, requires the collection and synthesis of geologic, geophysical, geochemical, and hydrologic data. Periodic monitoring of changes in geothermal systems, including surficial thermal manifestations, can aid in understanding the natural conditions of flow and effects caused by crustal unrest and geothermal development. Objectives are to elucidate the processes involved in geothermal systems and their response to stresses imposed by geothermal development, earthquakes, and magmatic intrusions Develop realistic conceptual models of specific systems; evaluate the level of natural variability in thermal fluid discharge in hot springs and fumaroles at specific geothermal areas.


Evans, W.C., Sorey, M.L., Cook, A.C., Kennedy, B.M., Shuster, D.L., Colvard, E.M., White, L.D., and Huebner, M.A., 2002, Tracing and quantifying magmatic carbon discharge in cold groundwaters: lessons learned from Mammoth Mountain, USA: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research v.114, p. 291-312.

For information on current projects in the National Research Program, see Indexes to NRP projects and bibliographies

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