Geological structure of a long‐living geothermal system, Larderello, Italy

Geological structure of a long‐living geothermal system, Larderello, Italy We have examined the data of 600 geothermal wells and re‐interpreted approximately 500 km seismic profiles through the field of Larderello, Italy. We conclude that the two main seismic reflectors present below the geothermal area host two different fluids: (1) superheated steam in the upper H‐horizon (reached by drillholes) and (2) supercritical fluid in the deeper K‐horizon (reached by few unproductive or damaged wells). The superheated steam has the physical and chemical connotation of the geothermal fluid exploited so far at Larderello, whereas the supercritical fluid represents a potential unconventional deep‐seated resource still to be assessed. The high temperatures existing in correspondence of the K‐horizon suggest that the silica‐rich rocks are close to a plastic state and the fluids should remain confined in a medium sealed to the confining rocks, unless occasional fluid overpressure and abrupt high strain rates occur. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Terra Nova Wiley

Geological structure of a long‐living geothermal system, Larderello, Italy

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0954-4879
eISSN
1365-3121
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1365-3121.2006.00676.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We have examined the data of 600 geothermal wells and re‐interpreted approximately 500 km seismic profiles through the field of Larderello, Italy. We conclude that the two main seismic reflectors present below the geothermal area host two different fluids: (1) superheated steam in the upper H‐horizon (reached by drillholes) and (2) supercritical fluid in the deeper K‐horizon (reached by few unproductive or damaged wells). The superheated steam has the physical and chemical connotation of the geothermal fluid exploited so far at Larderello, whereas the supercritical fluid represents a potential unconventional deep‐seated resource still to be assessed. The high temperatures existing in correspondence of the K‐horizon suggest that the silica‐rich rocks are close to a plastic state and the fluids should remain confined in a medium sealed to the confining rocks, unless occasional fluid overpressure and abrupt high strain rates occur.

Journal

Terra NovaWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2006

References

  • Heat flow, deep temperatures and extensional structures in the Larderello Geothermal Field (Italy): constraints on geothermal fluid flow
    Bellani, Bellani; Brogi, Brogi; Lazzarotto, Lazzarotto; Liotta, Liotta; Ranalli, Ranalli
  • Extensional shear zones as imaged by reflection seismic lines: the Larderello geothermal field (central Italy)
    Brogi, Brogi; Lazzarotto, Lazzarotto; Liotta, Liotta; Ranalli, Ranalli
  • Evidence of a contact metamorphic aureole with high‐temperature metasomatism in the deepest part of the active geothermal field of Larderello, Italy
    Gianelli, Gianelli; Ruggieri, Ruggieri
  • Crustal models of the geothermal areas of southern Tuscany (Italy)
    Gianelli, Gianelli; Manzella, Manzella; Puxeddu, Puxeddu

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