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A time-lapse gravity survey of the Coso geothermal field, China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, California

April 19, 2018

We have conducted a gravity survey of the Coso geothermal field to continue the time-lapse gravity study of the area initiated in 1991. In this report, we outline a method of processing the gravity data that minimizes the random errors and instrument bias introduced into the data by the Scintrex CG-5 relative gravimeters that were used. After processing, the standard deviation of the data was estimated to be ±13 microGals. These data reveal that the negative gravity anomaly over the Coso geothermal field, centered on gravity station CER1, is continuing to increase in magnitude over time. Preliminary modeling indicates that water-table drawdown at the location of CER1 is between 65 and 326 meters over the last two decades. We note, however, that several assumptions on which the model results depend, such as constant elevation and free-water level over the study period, still require verification.