Commenced in January 2007
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Geothermal Exploration Related Abstracts

2 Spectral Mapping of Hydrothermal Alteration Minerals for Geothermal Exploration Using Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Short Wave Infrared Data

Authors: Aliyu J. Abubakar, Mazlan Hashim, Amin B. Pour


Exploiting geothermal resources for either power, home heating, Spa, greenhouses, industrial or tourism requires an initial identification of suitable areas. This can be done cost-effectively using remote sensing satellite imagery which has synoptic capabilities of covering large areas in real time and by identifying possible areas of hydrothermal alteration and minerals related to Geothermal systems. Earth features and minerals are known to have unique diagnostic spectral reflectance characteristics that can be used to discriminate them. The focus of this paper is to investigate the applicability of mapping hydrothermal alteration in relation to geothermal systems (thermal springs) at Yankari Park Northeastern Nigeria, using Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) satellite data for resource exploration. The ASTER Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) bands are used to highlight and discriminate alteration areas by employing sophisticated digital image processing techniques including image transformations and spectral mapping methods. Field verifications are conducted at the Yankari Park using hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) monterra to identify locations of hydrothermal alteration and rock samples obtained at the vicinity and surrounding areas of the ‘Mawulgo’ and ‘Wikki’ thermal springs. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) results of rock samples obtained from the field validated hydrothermal alteration by the presence of indicator minerals including; Dickite, Kaolinite, Hematite and Quart. The study indicated the applicability of mapping geothermal anomalies for resource exploration in unmapped sparsely vegetated savanna environment characterized by subtle surface manifestations such as thermal springs. The results could have implication for geothermal resource exploration especially at the prefeasibility stages by narrowing targets for comprehensive surveys and in unexplored savanna regions where expensive airborne surveys are unaffordable.

Keywords: Minerals, Geothermal Exploration, Image Enhancement, spectral mapping

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1 Diffuse CO₂ Degassing to Study Blind Geothermal Systems: The Acoculco, Puebla (Mexico) Case Study

Authors: Mirna Guevara, Edgar Santoyo, Daniel Perez-Zarate, Erika Almirudis


The Acoculco caldera located in Puebla (Mexico) has been preliminary identified as a blind hot-dry rock geothermal system. Two drilled wells suggest the existence of high temperatures >300°C and non-conventional tools are been applied to study this system. A comprehensive survey of soil-gas (CO₂) flux measurements (1,500 sites) was carried out during the dry seasons over almost two years (2015 and 2016). Isotopic analyses of δ¹³CCO₂ were performed to discriminate the origin source of the CO2 fluxes. The soil CO2 flux measurements were made in situ by the accumulation chamber method, whereas gas samples for δ13CCO2 were selectively collected from the accumulation chamber with evacuated gas vials via a septum. Two anomalous geothermal zones were identified as a result of these campaigns: Los Azufres (19°55'29.4'' N; 98°08'39.9'' W; 2,839 masl) and Alcaparrosa (19°55'20.6'' N; 98°08'38.3'' W; 2,845 masl). To elucidate the origin of the C in soil CO₂ fluxes, the isotopic signature of δ¹³C was used. Graphical Statistical Analysis (GSA) and a three end-member mixing diagram were used to corroborate the presence of distinctive statistical samples, and trends for the diffuse gas fluxes. Spatial and temporal distributions of the CO₂ fluxes were studied. High CO₂ emission rates up to 38,217 g/m2/d and 33,706 g/m2/d were measured for the Los Azufres and Alcaparrosa respectively; whereas the δ¹³C signatures showed values ranging from -3.4 to -5.5 o/oo for both zones, confirming their magmatic origin. This study has provided a valuable framework to set the direction of further exploration campaigns in the Acoculco caldera. Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge the funding received from CeMIE-Geo P09 project (SENER-CONACyT).

Keywords: Carbon Dioxide, Geothermal Exploration, accumulation chamber method, diffusive degassing

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