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Geology of the platanares geothermal area, Departamento de Copan, Honduras

January 1, 1991

Platanares is located 16 km west of Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras, along the Quebrada del Agua Caliente. The thermal manifestations are along faults in tuffs, tuffaceous sedimentary rocks, and lavas of the Padre Miguel Group. These tuffs are silicified near the faults, are fractured, and may provide the fracture permeability necessary for the hydrothermal system. Tuffs are overlain by a wedge of terrace gravels up to 60 m thick. Quaternary conglomerates of the Quebrada del Agua Caliente are cemented by silica sinter. The Platanares area contains numerous faults, all of which appear to be extensional. There are four groups of faults (N80/sup 0/E to N70/sup 0/W, N30/sup 0/ to 60/sup 0/W, N40/sup 0/ to 65/sup 0/E, and N00/sup 0/ to 05/sup 0/W). All hot springs at this site are located along faults that trend mostly northwest and north. Twenty-eight spring groups were described over an area of 0.2 km/sup 2/; half were boiling. Based on surface temperatures and flow rates, between 0.7 and 1.0 MW thermal energy is estimated for the area. The increased temperature of the stream flowing through the thermal area indicates that several megawatts of thermal energy are being added to the stream. We recommend that a dipole-dipole resistivity line be run along the Quebrada del Agua Caliente to identify zones of fracture permeability associated with buried faults and hot water reservoirs within those fault zones. A thermal gradient corehole should be drilled at Platanares to test temperatures, lithologies, and permeability of the hydrothermal system.

Publication Year 1991
Title Geology of the platanares geothermal area, Departamento de Copan, Honduras
DOI 10.2172/5509289
Authors G. Heiken, N. Ramos, W. Duffield, J. Musgrave, K. Wohletz, S. Priest, J. Aldrich, W. Flores, A. Ritchie, F. Goff, D. Eppler, C. Escobar
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Index ID 70016930
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse