Exploring for Superhot Geothermal Targets in Magmatic Settings: 2022 Field Campaign at Newberry Volcano

Hannah Pauling, Adam Schultz, Esteban Bowles-Martinez, Xiaolei Tu, Chet Hopp, Alain Bonneville, Amanda Kolker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper presents preliminary results from a subset of work carried out as part of a multinational research project entitled DErisking Exploration for multiple geothermal Plays in magmatic ENvironments (DEEPEN), supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Geothermica, a joint effort by EU member states and associated countries. The DEEPEN project will develop a customized approach to exploration for supercritical and superhot geothermal plays in magmatic systems, which will be applied to two demonstration sites. This paper summarizes field activities carried out at the U.S. demonstration site, Newberry Volcano in central Oregon. The objective of this work effort is to refine the subsurface model of Newberry Volcano, with special focus on deeper zones including the magmatic plumbing system and other key geologic elements. New data collection included gravity and wideband magnetotelluric (MT) surveys, as well as reinstallation of a seismic network. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Enthalpion Energy LLC (Enthalpion) worked with the Deschutes National Forest Fort Rock District to use a low ground disturbance method of MT deployment to collect MT data inside the caldera and other restricted areas inside the National Volcanic Monument. This opened these areas to geophysical exploration for the first time in decades. Sites along and adjacent to the south rim of the volcano constituted the primary survey objectives. A team from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and AltaRock also began the process of reinstalling the seismic network from the AltaRock enhanced geothermal system (EGS) demonstration in anticipation of further development activities at the site. The data ingestion, reduction, and analysis phase of the project is ongoing. We are currently processing the MT and gravity data and are developing a new, highly GPU-accelerated, 3D joint MT and gravity inversion to better localize the south rim/south flank conductive target and better understand its relationship to deep heat, fluid sources, and surface extrusive features. Joint inversions, which have not yet been undertaken at Newberry, will allow us to obtain constraints on the geologic model that cannot be determined from each method in isolation, improving our ability to image key geologic features at depth.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2023
EventStanford Geothermal Workshop - Stanford, CA
Duration: 6 Feb 20238 Feb 2023


ConferenceStanford Geothermal Workshop
CityStanford, CA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-85001


  • geophysics
  • geothermal exploration
  • gravity
  • joint inversion
  • magnetotellurics
  • supercritical resources
  • superhot EGS


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