October 3, 2012
by John Vidale
Altarock Energy Corp., a Seattle-based renewable energy development company, is planning to start on October 8th to inject water for circulating in the hot rocks near Newberry Volcano. The operation is on the outer flanks of the volcano, five miles west of the most recent volcanic activity.
The goal this fall is to (1) inject water deep into ground, (2) let the ground heat the water, (3) bring the hot water back to the surface, (4) measure the hot water's flow rate and temperature to determine how much electricity could be generated.
We expect to see numerous small earthquakes during the weeks this fall of testing this system, and later when the system starts to operate for actual energy extraction.
This particular arrangement, an Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS, descriptive video), is designed to circulate particularly deep in the ground, and with low-pressure fluid flow, in order to minimize escape of the fluids and minimize the number and magnitude of induced and triggered earthquakes. The blog on Altarock's website is replete with details.
We at the PNSN, in league with our partners at the Cascade Volcano Observatory (CVO), have precise monitoring of the Newberry Volcano, as reported here. Seismograms in the region can be monitored here.
One detail about jargon - triggered earthquakes are pushed over the edge by a geophysical disturbance but the causative stress was already in the ground, induced earthquakes are powered by the disturbance, in other words, for induced events, the stress that powered the event was not present until the disturbance.
The injection of pressurized fluid is expected to induce the formation of zillions of tiny cracks to allow the circulating fluid to easily flow, and may trigger some small earthquakes that release the natural stresses pent up in the ground.
- Large Mount Baker debris Avalanche this fall
- Speedy ETS in the works
- Peppy seismic swarm 20 km NW of Mount St Helens
- Glacier outburst flood on Mount Baker recorded by the PNSN
- Three new ways to view recent earthquakes in the Northwest
- M3.5 event west of Tacoma early Sunday morning
- Oregon ETS is over, but....
- Small swarm near Mount McLoughlin last night
- Earthquake early warning workshop quick report
- thePNSN Facebook discussions
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- The wech-o-meter takes over all of Cascadia
- Keystone Cops: Italy prosecutes seismologists for failure to predict deadly quake
- UFOs in eastern Washington? No, rather UTEs (Unidentified Terrestrial Events)
- New Sodo Seattle Liquefaction Array Installed
- Why we should constantly watch the deformation of the seafloor
- Mystery chirp near Newberry Volcano
- Planting seismographs causes earthquakes? or maybe ice-quakes?
- Tunneling rumbles south under Capitol Hill
- 15 years of mostly silent magma inflation near Three Sisters, Oregon
- Mount Hood earthquake swarm of Feb 23, 2012
- Web glitches: duplicate (and even triplicate!) earthquakes
- How earthquake magnitude scales work
- Mine blast masquerades as volcanic tremor
- The Spokane Swarm about 10 years ago
- Another hum around Mount St. Helens
- Slow slip: A new kind of earthquake under our feet
- PNSN and social media
- 3am M3.4 earthquake in St. Helens Seismic Zone
- The wrong kind of volcano noise
- Fast chatter on Rainier an hour ago
- Can slush-mageddon trigger earthquakes?
- Rainier Repeating Earthquakes Update and Comparison with Weather Patterns
- 22-minutes drumbeat icequakes(?)
- Mount Rainier popping away
- Repeating Earthquakes on Mount Rainier - are glaciers the culprit?
- Debunking another SEC football myth by the PAC-12
- One year ago, Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Earthquake
- The odds this year of a megaquake on the Pacific Northwest coast
- Is the plague of great earthquakes this decade a sign of increased danger?
- Nile Valley landslide talks to PNSN seismologists
- Good vs evil in central US earthquake hazard analysis
- Why does a volcano scream?
- Predicting big quakes from patterns of little ones
- 1-hour warning for Japanese M9 earthquake?
- Sound Transit train under Interlaken keeps a rollin'
- Invisible changes under the hood at the PNSN
- Sound Transit Tunneling Noise
- "Visionary" toads
- Earthquake early warning in the PNW
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