Previous magnetotelluric (MT) studies of the high-temperature Coso geothermal system in California identified a subvertical feature of low resistivity (2–5 Ohm m) and appreciable lateral extent (>1 km) in the producing zone of the East Flank field. However, these models could not reproduce gross 3-D effects in the recorded data. We perform 3-D full-tensor inversion and retrieve a resistivity model that out-performs previous 2-D and 3-D off-diagonal models in terms of its fit to the complete 3-D MT data set as well as the degree of modelling bias. Inclusion of secondary Zxx and Zyy data components leads to a robust east-dip (60†) to the previously identified conductive East Flank reservoir feature, which correlates strongly with recently mapped surface faults, downhole well temperatures, 3-D seismic reflection data, and local microseismicity. We perform synthetic forward modelling to test the best-fit dip of this conductor using the response at a nearby MT station. We interpret the dipping conductor as a fractured and fluidized compartment, which is structurally controlled by an unmapped blind East Flank fault zone.
|Title||Compartmentalization of the Coso East Flank geothermal field imaged by 3-D full-tensor MT inversion|
|Authors||Nathaniel J. Lindsey, J. Ole Kaven, Nicholas C. Davatzes, Gregory A. Newman|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Geophysical Journal International|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Earthquake Science Center|