Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Three dimensional temperature simulation from cooling of two magma chambers in the Las Tres Vírgenes geothermal field, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Available online 18 February 2013
Publication year: 2013
Source:Energy

A three-dimensional (3D) numerical model is proposed for natural state simulation of the Las Tres Vírgenes (LTV) geothermal system from emplacement and cooling of the heat source. A conceptual model of the LTV volcanic system was developed considering tectonic regime, structural geology, outcropping geology, eruptive events and geochronology. The model includes the emplacement of two magma chambers, lateral variations of physical properties and the topography of the geographic area. Model calibration was carried out for several chamber volumes and depths, as well as thermal diffusivity of lithological units. Static formation temperatures (SFT) and homogenization temperatures were used as references. Chamber depths between 3000 and 3500 m below sea level with total chamber volumes of 429 and 563 km3, respectively, were inferred from the simulation results. The exergy of the reservoir was consistent with the current installed capacity of the power plant (10 MWe); however, an increase of at least 4 MWe would be attained with optimized power cycles.

Highlights

► Three dimensional modeling of primary heat source and geothermal reservoir. ► Emplacement of two magma chambers and consideration of topography. ► Heat budget available for an increase of at least 4 MWe in the installed capacity of electricity production.


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