Geothermal Systems


High-Resolution Imaging of Geothermal Flow Paths Using a Cost-Effective Dense Seismic Network (CEC-EPIC)

California Energy Commission (CEC)

Objective:  Develop an advanced, low-cost, automated tomographic imaging system that uses micro-earthquakes and a dense network of portable, low-cost seismic sensors to form high spatial and temporal resolution images of subsurface fluid flow, including flow conduits, barriers and heterogeneity in producing geothermal fields.

Goal:  Allow geothermal operators to more efficiently carry out their operations, including drilling productive wells, avoiding drilling hazards and optimizing production.

Project Plan:  Four Integrated technical tasks are staggered over three years:

  • Task 2– Design 5 km x 5 km, 100 station, dense MEQ network;
  • Task 3– Adapt and refine MEQ processing and imaging software for fast-turnaround;
  • Task 4– Execute a 1 year long MEQ monitoring program at The Geysers; and
  • Task 5– Develop transforms for extracting rock and fluid properties from MEQ images and apply to Task 4 images.

Project Team:  Consists of 12 researchers with  expertise in seismic imaging,  data acquisition & processing, geomechanics, and rock physics.  Three technical advisors with extensive experience in geothermal-related geophysics, rock physics, and operations will provide input and oversight as Technical Advisors.


Funding: Funding for this project is provided by the California Energy Commission under agreement EPC-16-021, as part of Work for Others funding from Berkeley Lab, provided by the Director, Office of Science, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.