Analysis of Selected Publicly Available Geothermal Exploration Data Gaps

Greg Rhodes, Billy Roberts, Hannah Pauling, Nicole Taverna, Patrick Warren

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As part of a United States Department of Energy (DOE) supported retrospective analysis of DOE's Play Fairway Analysis (PFA) projects, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) compiled and analyzed publicly available geothermal exploration datasets to identify and highlight data gaps in areas prospective for hosting geothermal resources. The analysis was intended to understand the existing geographic coverage of selected datasets commonly utilized both by the PFA projects and geothermal developers during resource assessments including geologic mapping, temperature gradient drilling, and aeromagnetic, gravimetric, and lidar surveys. Results indicate that broad areas of the western United States estimated to have geothermal potential lack sufficient geologic and geophysical coverage necessary for even regional resource exploration. The study directly informed the recent Geoscience Data Acquisition for Western Nevada, or GeoDAWN - which united DOE's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of the U.S. Department of the Interior to assist U.S. needs for energy and critical minerals. The study also has the potential to inform public investment in further data acquisition for characterization of the Earth both for geothermal and other natural resource assessments.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 Geothermal Rising Conference: Using the Earth to Save the Earth, GRC 2021 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 3 Oct 20216 Oct 2021


Conference2021 Geothermal Rising Conference: Using the Earth to Save the Earth, GRC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Geothermal Rising.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-80901


  • Exploration
  • Geologic data
  • Geophysical data
  • Geothermal
  • Play fairway


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