Hydrothermal Exploration Best Practices and Geothermal Knowledge Exchange on OpenEI

Katherine Young

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Though exploring for hydrothermal resources is not new, advances in exploration technologies and the pursuit of less visible resources have created a need to outline exploration best practices. This multi-year study outlines 21 geothermal exploration regions in the Western United States. These regions were developed based on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) physiographic regions, then adjustedto fit geothermal parameters such as differences in geologic regime, structure, heat source, surface effects (weather, vegetation patterns, groundwater flow), and other relevant factors. Literature searches were conducted in each of these 21 regions for the application of field reconnaissance, geochemical, geophysical and remote sensing techniques. At this time, data from more than 250 referenceshave been cataloged in U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) OpenEnergy Information (OpenEI, http://en.openei.org) website, which allows industry to access data information and run analyses on specific data attributes. The platform also allows updates, edits, and additions from the public so that the dataset can be expanded as industry's knowledge grows. In addition to the literature survey,interviews were conducted with exploration experts with both geothermal and oil-and-gas industry experience to identify the exploration challenges and best practices for the exploration regions. This paper defines and describes the geothermal regions developed for this study, describes how exploration techniques contribute to hydrothermal analyses (structural, petrologic, temperature, andhydrologic), and defines the exploration hurdles and best practices for each region. The results of the study and accompanying data sets on OpenEI will be available through the National Geothermal Data System.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2012
Event38th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering - Stanford, California
Duration: 11 Feb 201313 Feb 2013


Conference38th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering
CityStanford, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A20-53819


  • geothermal
  • hydrothermal exploration
  • OpenEI


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