Edgar Santoyo


2 New Gas Geothermometers for the Prediction of Subsurface Geothermal Temperatures: An Optimized Application of Artificial Neural Networks and Geochemometric Analysis

Authors: Mirna Guevara, Edgar Santoyo, Daniel Perez-Zarate, Agustin Acevedo, Lorena Diaz-Gonzalez


Four new gas geothermometers have been derived from a multivariate geo chemometric analysis of a geothermal fluid chemistry database, two of which use the natural logarithm of CO₂ and H2S concentrations (mmol/mol), respectively, and the other two use the natural logarithm of the H₂S/H₂ and CO₂/H₂ ratios. As a strict compilation criterion, the database was created with gas-phase composition of fluids and bottomhole temperatures (BHTM) measured in producing wells. The calibration of the geothermometers was based on the geochemical relationship existing between the gas-phase composition of well discharges and the equilibrium temperatures measured at bottomhole conditions. Multivariate statistical analysis together with the use of artificial neural networks (ANN) was successfully applied for correlating the gas-phase compositions and the BHTM. The predicted or simulated bottomhole temperatures (BHTANN), defined as output neurons or simulation targets, were statistically compared with measured temperatures (BHTM). The coefficients of the new geothermometers were obtained from an optimized self-adjusting training algorithm applied to approximately 2,080 ANN architectures with 15,000 simulation iterations each one. The self-adjusting training algorithm used the well-known Levenberg-Marquardt model, which was used to calculate: (i) the number of neurons of the hidden layer; (ii) the training factor and the training patterns of the ANN; (iii) the linear correlation coefficient, R; (iv) the synaptic weighting coefficients; and (v) the statistical parameter, Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) to evaluate the prediction performance between the BHTM and the simulated BHTANN. The prediction performance of the new gas geothermometers together with those predictions inferred from sixteen well-known gas geothermometers (previously developed) was statistically evaluated by using an external database for avoiding a bias problem. Statistical evaluation was performed through the analysis of the lowest RMSE values computed among the predictions of all the gas geothermometers. The new gas geothermometers developed in this work have been successfully used for predicting subsurface temperatures in high-temperature geothermal systems of Mexico (e.g., Los Azufres, Mich., Los Humeros, Pue., and Cerro Prieto, B.C.) as well as in a blind geothermal system (known as Acoculco, Puebla). The last results of the gas geothermometers (inferred from gas-phase compositions of soil-gas bubble emissions) compare well with the temperature measured in two wells of the blind geothermal system of Acoculco, Puebla (México). Details of this new development are outlined in the present research work. Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge the funding received from CeMIE-Geo P09 project (SENER-CONACyT).

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, geothermal energy, gas geochemistry, geochemometrics

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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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