Conceptual Model for the Geothermal System of the Wagner Basin, Gulf of California
González Fernández, Antonio
Negrete Aranda, Raquel
Batista Cruz, Ramón Y.
Avilés Esquivel, Thalia A.
Reyes Ortega, Valeria
Flores Luna, Carlos F.
Gómez Treviño, Enrique
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Conceptual Model for the Geothermal System of the Wagner Basin, Gulf of California Cerro Prieto in northwestern Mexico is one of the biggest geothermal plants in the world. Cerro Prieto sits in the Gulf of California rift system, which consists of a series of spreading centers and transform faults. The aim of this study is to evaluate the geothermal potential of the nearby offshore Wagner basin. To this end, we acquired and analyzed a set of different methods, such as reflection seismics, heat flow, magnetotelluric and controlled source electromagnetics, hydrogeochemistry and echosounder. Seismic reflection data show that the Wagner basin is a semigraben, a profile crossing it shows numerous closely spaced faults, particularly in its eastern part. We found very high heat flow values, in excess of 1000 mW/m , and large variability on the eastern flank of the Wagner basin, whereas there are more consistent and much lower values across the central and western parts. The high and variable heat flow values are suggestive of advective heat transfer. We collected cores and interstitial water samples. The hydrogeochemistry analyses show that in the cores recovered from high heat flow areas, the relations bromide/choride and bromide/sulfide are clearly different from sea water. In contrast, those relations were close to sea water in areas with low heat flow. Similarly, the isotope relations such as H/ O show a similar pattern, further indicating the groundwater origin of the interstitial water found in high heat flow zones. In the magnetoteluric measurements we found the presence of a deep conductor that is located approximately under the basin center, extends from the base of the crust to depths of about 40 km, and dips toward the NE. This conductor is probably related to the heat source of the geothermal system. Active source electromagnetics show the presence of shallow conductors that correlate with the faults visible in the seismic sections. There are two distinct conductors, one in the eastern flank and another in the western flank of the basin. The echosounder data and previous studies support the presence of fluid discharge, focused specially in the eastern part of the basin. According to our results, there is recharge in the western part of the basin, a deep heat source beneath the basin, related to the rift process, and groundwater discharge in the eastern part of the basin, channeled by closely spaced faults.
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
Citation:González Fernández, A., Neumann, F., Negrete Aranda, R., Contreras, J., Batista Cruz, R.Y., Kretzschmar, T., Avilés Esquivel, T.A., Reyes Ortega, V., Flores Luna, C.F., Gómez Treviño, E., Martín, A., Constable, S., 2017. Conceptual Model for the Geothermal System of the Wagner Basin, Gulf of California. Cartel presentado en: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
UNESCO International Nomenclature: Geología-> Energía y procesos geotérmicos
INIS/ETDE Thesaurus:Geothermal exploration